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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 5

269 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 5

The “angry boy,” huh?

Y’all seemed to like seeing Tsunami all dressed up in a suit on the last page, so over on the Patreon Page, I decided to share a gorgeous painting of Tsunami in an entirely different suit: his birthday suit!

Beautifully rendered by artist Marccus, here is a sneak preview:

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There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),

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So! Kyle and DunKid meet again! Is Kyle really not angry? Is DunKid really so innocent? And did anyone bring cookies to this huge event? (I love cookies.)

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

  • Puppy eyed Dunkid.. Young-can.. Mini-Duncan.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Dunkid! XD

      • Yeah, Iike Dunkid best I think, but I’m not sure if that’s gotten the ‘official’ name over Young-can yet.

        Duncan still works, but it’s kinda hard calling the mini-version for Anni 🙂

        • Chris Dangerfield

          IT’S OFFICIAL (as far as I’m concerned).

        • Adam Black

          You mean Annihi-Tot vs Annihi-Not ?

          ( also AnnihiLater vs Annihi-Not Later ? )

    • Songbird

      I’m team Young-can myself

      • stickfigurefairytales

        I’m pretty delighted by both, but I think Dunkid works better when written and Young-can works better out loud.

        • Songbird

          I can vibe with that

        • Agreed. I like both options, but since we write our comments, DunKid seems slightly better.

  • At least he hasn’t asked for the Chianti yet

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Ohhhhh you!

      • I suppose he could still speak of fava beans

        • Chris Dangerfield

          No face eating. THANK YEW!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Little Anni is so friggin’ cute, I can’t take it.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Agreed.

  • The Angry Boy.

    Kyle is a man.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      A very young man, though.

      • But would as someone supposedly younger, wouldn’t he more think of him as at least a guy, not a boy?

        • stickfigurefairytales

          That is indeed a valid point.

          • Having been tricked by Duncan before, I’m less inclined to trust DunKid.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I remain as incredibly gullible as ever, but you guys do bring up a good point. His choice of words there was suspicious.

          • I mean I may be seeing stuff that isn’t there. But I felt this way once, I’m gonna follow it until proven wrong. Though I would like to be wrong.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Agreed.

          • I mean look at how cute he is panel five. Talk about champion puppy dog eyes

          • Chris Dangerfield

            That’s when you give the over fed puppy more treats…. HA!

          • Exactly. Whose a good boy, whose a good boy!!

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Heeeeeeeee…

          • stickfigurefairytales

            D’awww…

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Yup Yup

          • Chris Dangerfield

            I’m so with you.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Alex has trained us to tense up for the twist. 🙂

          • Indeed!!

          • The big twist could be that there is no twist.

            The irony would be such a twist 😉

          • Klaus

            But then there would be a twist, so it would not be a twist, and …

          • Chris Dangerfield

            I do love that we can postulate anything and may be right or not. Alex IS that good.

          • davefragments

            It’s tough to trust someone as duplicitous as him even after age regression

          • Exactly.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Word!

          • stickfigurefairytales

            But on the other hand, if he really has lost all of his memories permanently, treating him as inherently untrustworthy could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • davefragments

            Yes

          • stickfigurefairytales

            And I don’t like the idea of people being mean to a scared, confused kid who (potentially) has no idea what’s going on.

          • davefragments

            I agree but how do we know it isn’t all an act?

            As Hamlet said: “There’s the Rub” … The impediment to all knowing and the difficulties of trust

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Especially with Amanda not being able to read him at all.

          • Ansel

            I feel like Amanda should try to read him again. The first time it was reasonable for him to be blank to her, but now he’s got to have all sorts of thoughts and worries and stuff going on.

          • NoiseShaper

            Good point, but wouldn’t Amanda still have to have been able to feel just his present state of mind even if it had been wiped clean? (Mostly – he could still move and talk!)

          • Ansel

            I don’t know. She seemed to accept it as potentially reasonable, so I went with that.

          • NoiseShaper

            Maybe there’s a magical spell for that – allowing him to be free but keeping an eye on him as far as needed.

            Tricky stuff, though.

          • D. G.

            It would seem to me that Amanda should do a brain scan to assertain if Anni is adult or child or some blend, in the mind.

          • davefragments

            Back on page 66 of Chapter 5 she did a scan and he’s a blank. She explains it in panel 5.
            http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ch5-page-66/

          • D. G.

            Thanks Dave.

  • Say, do you suppose he has his powers? Or did the power blocker steal his powers, even in this guise? Or is this before he had powers.

    • timemonkey

      Wouldn’t have been much point in depowering him at all if it wasn’t going to carry over.

  • Bigger cells than I had imagined, and more ‘open’, but the interior is pretty sparse.

    • Klaus

      Absolutely no privacy.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        If they want to watch you masturbate then that’s on them… the creeps. (heeee)

      • davefragments

        That Mexican Drug Lord who escaped in a tunnel had a “privacy wall” to shield him form the camera when he defecated. That’s where his gang dung the tunnel, next to the toilet.

        {BTW, are you near Hamburg?}

        • Klaus

          No, I am just north of Copenhagen.

          Is “dung” a freudian slip?

          • davefragments

            “Dug” sorry… (fixed it)

            One of the commentators was from Germany and I can’t remember who. Hamburg is having a very bad time. I wanted to wish him “safety”.

          • NoiseShaper

            I’m from central Germany (far south of Hamburg) and it’s the top story in the national news, but it’s really ugly only in the affected parts of Hamburg with no direct effects elsewhere.

            If you’ve had your car torched in the street or your shop looted and destroyed it will certainly leave a mark, even if you’ve got insurance.

          • davefragments

            My town (Pittsburgh) had a G20 in 2009. The goofy street layout kept the demonstrations away from the conference center and still near the center of town. There was a group of outside, professional protestors that got themselves isolated and arrested before they could riot and burn things. The local groups carried on all day, very noisy, very outspoken, making their political points, but without destruction.
            I feel bad for Hamburg. There’s no benefit to the violence and destruction.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    BEAUTIFUL … as always….

  • Those cells remind me of Loki’s arrangements on Asgard.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Yeah, me too!

  • davefragments

    Kyle looks so stern and harsh.
    I wonder how long that will last?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Interesting…

  • Songbird

    As someone who never liked Duncan much, I’m pretty scared for this kid. I really hope he gets a chance to try again, and that EXSEC isn’t as shady as I think it is. I mean technically he’s no longer the same person–If he’s telling the truth, which I’m REALLY thinking he is. And gosh darn does he have pretty eyes

    • Klaus

      Pretty eyes prove nothing.

      • Songbird

        PRETTY EYES PROVE EVERYTHING

        • Chris Dangerfield

          Heh heh heh… and so I’ve thought until I got my hell-date. (snort)

    • Chris Dangerfield

      The thing about EXSEC that always pulls me up is that Amanda’s mother worked for them… Does that mean they’re not all bad or was she an anomaly of a good person trying to improve a tricky government system.

      I honestly don’t know from the info we have.

      • davefragments

        Bureaucracy of ExSec’s type is always paranoid and somewhat unthinkingly nasty.

        • Chris Dangerfield

          So our country and movie industry (Bourne movies live) have led us to believe.

          I joke but I do agree with you. :/

          • davefragments

            No, my 30 years in bureaucracy have convinced my of the inherent nastiness and stupidity of bureaucrats and other power holders…

          • Chris Dangerfield

            People (and I include myself) can be very small when they are afraid. And we are often afraid.

          • davefragments

            yes

          • Chris Dangerfield

            One of my favorite quotes (and I think very true… at least in my case) was, “ANGER is just FEAR with another coat on.”

      • Songbird

        You know, I’ve always wondered if the capes have the same basic human rights in this world. Feasibly they could be classified as weapons.

        • Klaus

          No capes!

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Yeah… we’ve all learned that. Let it never be said Pixar didn’t give practical advice. 🙂

          • Curt Clark

            Detachable capes. Like Storm’s.

            I refuse to let a meme define my sense of superhero fashion, tyvm.

          • davefragments

            Dr. Strange’s Cloak of Levitation

          • Edna has a lasting legacy.

    • There can be shady people/parts of every good (government) organisation/departments.

      Chris pointed out Amanda’s mother works for ExSec, and I’ll add they all do as superheroes of any kind. Another thing I think speaks in favor of ExSec is that they let Spooky work – both on his own, saving people and hunting demons, but also let him be with around minors.
      In his own way, Spooky is (or rather could be) as dangerous as Duncan, of not more since his main powers are magic related. We all know how it usually goes for magic users, amd Spooky is not afraid of bending/breaking the rules. That is clear.

      Of course it still doesn’t exclude that a part of ExSec is corrupt with their own agenda. Not even unlikely that some has an agenda, be they cortupt and/or ‘just’ goal oriented, perhaps for personal reasons.

      • Songbird

        That point about spooky is very valid.

      • NoiseShaper

        Another point is that ExSec would have a difficult time keeping an apparently larger number of superpowered people under control if they significantly alienated them.

        It may just be practical for them to tread lightly there, especially since any of those people could turn into supervillains if they gave them too much of an excuse for it.

        On top of that at least a part of the public might side with the superheroes in that, so it would also be politically expedient to some extent. But of course other politicians would play to envy and paranoia among the population, too…

  • TwilightDreamer

    Oh please please PLEASE don’t let that sweet young face be lying again! DX I truly want to believe he’s being honest this time.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      He’s so adorable it makes me want to punch a wall.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Again. I’m so with you.

      • TwilightDreamer

        whilst I want to stamp my feet and scream XP

  • Kate G

    I think “the angry boy” is the understatement of the century Dunkid.

    Understatement. Of. The. Century.

    And “Are you still mad at me?” is the most redundant question ever. Yes, Dunkid, yes, he still very angry at you. Look at that expression. His mouth may say, “No,” but the face and body say, “Ya, ya I’m still pretty pissed at you.”

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Another very well done evocative page that leaves us on the edge of our seats. If Dunkid is not sincere, than he’s a consummate actor. Here, not even the give-aways during the hell-date that let the audience know he was yanking Kyle’s needy chain.

    So, honestly, I have no idea. Time will tell. Nothing is slipping here if he’s not what he seems to be.

    Thank you so much guys. As always you make a long week end on a great note. It doesn’t get better than this. And thanks for taking the time and effort to let us relax as you let some unanswered questions at least relax and settle. Looking forward to the next flight! Whoooo Hooo…

    • You’re very welcome, Chris. And time will tell. 😉

  • The details on every page is spectacular as always. For some reason I think my top detail on this page may be the long shadow the light and view angle creates in panel .

    Details like this make the pages come ‘alive’.

    • I really like what Adam and Vero did here too. Great job setting up the scene. And it’s nice to be in a new space. 🙂

  • Nate

    Aww… he looks like a kicked puppy.

    Too soon for Nate!Hugs™?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Yes, but they’ll be helpful when the time is right. That’s ALWAYS a given. 😀

  • timemonkey

    I wonder how much has been explained to him now?

  • Mary Klemzak

    DunKid. Thats great!

    Oh boy, where to start. I want young Duncan to be able to start over, fresh. But, he’s gotta pay for what he did as a much older man. I feel for him. U

    Hope Kyle can get some info out of him, that the good guys can use. How much does Dunkid know?

    • NoiseShaper

      He’s got to pay if he remembers. Otherwise he’s just an innocent kid and should be treated as such.

      The difficulty is just in verifying that, apparently.

      • D. G.

        Well, if he is under constant observation, mannerisms and facial expressions that suit adulthood should become manifest. I don’t think anyone can fake age regression permanently.

  • ComicBookGoddess

    Aw, man. Those ears. Heh.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    I love the sense of Kyle LONG walk through those cold hallways. You know his stomach if boiling. This has so much stress embedded in it. And it’s one of those moments as when anyone is sitting for an hour in a waiting room for a job interview. You just want to get this over, but you HAVE to do it.

    Beautifully staged.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    “The Angry Boy.” OMG that screams YOUNG. Wow is this a tough one.

    I blame Alex. I’m not supposed to feel for Duncan at this point……….

    (*chris goes off to write a huge list of the naughty bad thing old Duncan did to Kyle*)

    • Klaus

      That list is not so very long, is it?. They were very bad things, but not many.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Quibbles… he let in a creature who threatened to boil floaty fat Spooky’s blood. There can be NO forgiveness for that.

        If Kyle can forgive Dunkid for the rest than I’ll allow that. Kyle is a man now and he can choose.

        But you you don’t fuck with my Spooks… Hahahahaha….

  • I have this almost inner fear that at the very end of this scene, DunKid will say or do one little thing that reveals that he remembers some/all of his prior doings.

    We already know how well an actor he can be, but I kinda want him to be a clean slate now.
    I won’t be hugely shocked of it turn out to be an act, but I hope it’s not.
    If nothing else, and it IS an act, it would have his current confinement feel so much more appropriate and satisfying.

    • Curt Clark

      I agree with this; I kind of want this memory wipe to be a legit clean slate, but I’m suspecting it’s not, so strongly that it could literally go either way right now.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Yeah after all that Kyle’s been through it’s hard to imagine it might not be real………. yet again.

      • I can picture him making a small smirk or something just as Kyle has turned away, but I hope he won’t.

    • Madock345

      I actually want it to be an act. Because Duncan was a complex, fascinating characters who had pretty good reasons for everything he did, or thought he did. Because I think it makes a better conflict for Kyle. And because I want to avoid the injustice of ignorant, innocent DunKid locked up forever for things he effectively never did.

      • Hmm, I tend to agree with you on one side. On the othee side there’s the possibility to take it in several new directions depending on whether he fakes it or not. He could go both a good way or back to a new bad path, depending on what the prison do to him.
        Also, if PP escape and she DO remember, and possibly come back for Duncan, just to mention a couple options.

        • If he *does* remember, he may also see a new persona as an opportunity to start over and be a hero, now he has the adult wisdom to understand what his teenage bullies did to him psychologically, and walk away from that. Or in other words, take his own advice that he gave to Kyle back at the start of this about being a gay teenager with superpowers.

  • Mikey

    I believe that a younger Duncan is far more powerful than the Annihilator we know and that this kid is developing rapidly back into that guy. Once he hits his “terrible twos,” Exsec won’t be able to contain him and he’ll require positive guidance.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Fun and scary story idea right there!

      • Mikey

        Another possible wrinkle, in a misguided attempt to contain him, Exsec keeps the kid subdued in a power dampening field. As a result, the boy develops power while under its constraints far greater than would have without.

  • Klaus

    If you cross the security line, I don’t think you will have much success claiming that you didn’t notice it.

  • You know, if I were Dunkid, and I didn’t remember, and I was in that cell, I might just be curled up on that bed, a complete and utter mess.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Same.

      • That or yelling a whole lot, pressed up against the glass, pounding on it.

        • All of the sudden I am reminded of when they had Light in an observation cell in Death Note…

          • davefragments

            I wonder if Duncan has a Misa Amane?
            Is it possible that Sircea plays that role?
            That would be wicked as a plot.

          • If PP cares enough to even fill that part of the role…

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Make it three.

    • Klaus

      There is no way to stay sane in that environment for long.

      • No, I wouldn’t think so.

        • Chris Dangerfield

          Are you saying I wouldn’t be a flat stomached, James Bondian, portrait of coolness?

          • That’s exactly what I’m saying.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Okay… maybe not if I was pee-shy… LOL.

          • Klaus

            That is the least of it.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Indeed. However, endure your first colonoscopy in life and everything shifts a bit. (HA)

          • Klaus

            Actually what I best remember is this: to prepare, I had to buy this one use enema bottle at the pharmacy. It had instructions in three languages. Danes and Norwegians were instructed to hold the stuff inside us for five minutes. For Swedes it was ten.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            I’m enjoying thinking of whomever wrote THOSE instructions. Talk about a trouble maker.

          • davefragments

            There’s an old joke that has the punchline:
            “I know that you prescribed suppositories for me, Doctor. But they aren’t working. For all the good they did I might as well have shoved them up my ass.”

          • Klaus

            Fun fact: in the protestant parts of Europe, suppositories are only used for topical treatment, or for patients who cannot swallow pills. In the catholic countries, there are used much more often.

          • davefragments

            I’m not sure that’s fun…
            However, speculating about the cultural differences that created that difference… is going to fuel a plot line.

          • D. G.

            Ha!

          • OK – the different instructions for Swedes cracked me up.

          • Klaus

            For few days? Possibly. For months on end: no way.

    • Toli Bera

      I didn’t open a gate to hell, and I still do that. #WeekendPlans

  • Songbird

    You know weirdly, I kind of want Dunky Jr. to talk to Mitch. IDK why

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Okay that’s interesting and makes me want to ask WHY. Sincerely. What do you think might come out of that?

      • Songbird

        I dunno, Mitch seems to be pretty good at talking to people, and is lot more emotionally stable than Kyle. PLUS he could just listen to his heartbeat to see if he’s lying.

        • Chris Dangerfield

          True when you have parents who stand behind the real true you… it’s easy to stand strong and steady. I think there we see a big difference. between the two. Kyle has to rise above a hard start. Mitch has to define himself from an easy accepting start.

          It’s never easy, is it? Nice thoughts.

          • Songbird

            Imagine the AU where Mitch was older and the one with the demon powers. Same great parents, same personality.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            We’d be ruled by a really nice cute Demon kid. Damn that charisma. LOL.

          • Klaus

            Friggin’ prince of the world.

          • Songbird

            “Hey Cory, guess what?”

            “What?”

            *Demonic voice* “I know your thoughts. New power.”

            “…. Um….”

            “… Is that weird? I can turn it off–”

            “What am I thinking right now?”

            “Uh, I–oh. Oh. OH.”

            “Alright, now you can turn it off.”

          • Madock345

            On the one hand, it would have been a lot harder to arrange the demon thing.

            On the other, they might have lost if they had, I doubt Mitch, happy and well adjusted as he typically is, would be able to pull out the kind of fury and repressed power that Kyle did to push Laaampros back.

          • timemonkey

            Well, he might not have needed repressed anger in that case, regular anger might have been enough.

        • D. G.

          That’s a good idea. Mitch, along with a biofeedback expert, sent to evaluate dunkid’s honesty. I wonder if a plain old lie detector test would work too.

          • NoiseShaper

            Well, those don’t work on regular people in our world either.

          • D. G.

            I think they work pretty well for the majority of the population. Few seem to be able to control biofeedback signals.

          • NoiseShaper

            No, the results are mostly random; Which is why those devices are not used in most parts of the world. They are merely kept around in the US as a sort of psychological intimidation tool, but they have no more truth-finding power than torture does.

          • D. G.

            How do u know it isn’t reliable? What is the source of ur data?

          • NoiseShaper

            It’s mainly based on pseudoscientific mythology and wishful thinking, not on verifiable scientific research.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygraph

            Amanda might have a better chance, although we don’t really know how reliable and how precise her ability really works on most people. And Duncan is apparently beyond her reach completely. Could other people possibly shield parts of their minds from her?

          • D. G.

            I usually don’t trust Wikipedia for source material. But I perused the link and found some points of merit. Thx.

          • NoiseShaper

            Most of the time Wikipedia is reliable, but in this case I just checked if it is consistent with what I’ve known form a variety of sources over the years.

            But the point was of course correct: If Amanda can’t come through they’ll have to throw all other more conventional checks and verifications at Duncan; After all if he’s in fact just simulating, a single slip up could expose him already…

          • Klaus

            A polygraph does not detect lies, but it does show if you are nerveus. If you is nerveus is not a good indicator of whether you are lying.

          • D. G.

            Good point.

  • Jeldenil

    What happened to Hannibal?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      The fava beans gave him gas and he cancelled his appearance… fickle celebrities!

    • He could appear yet.

    • Klaus

      He took poison some 2200 years ago.

  • Karol Chmielewski

    i FEEL real bad for dunkid hope he gets to be free and start over.

  • Klaus

    Alex would not show us this unless it was interesting. Either Duncan has something interesting to say, or something happens.

    • Madock345

      Or Kyle has something interesting to say. He certainly has plenty of issues to work through. As a wrap up to the story, this kind of scene is necessary if anything “important” happens or not.

    • That’s kinda what I’m expecting. On the other hand, I would be dissapointed if we didn’t get some kind of (temporary) clossure between Kyle and Duncan. This talk, no matter how it ends was ‘needed’.

  • David Welbourn

    I love everything about this page. The visuals, the colours, the pacing, the dialogue, the shadows, the “dites” on the glass. It’s all very lovely and I think we’re all welcoming a change from the battlefield we were in for weeks and weeks.

    • Klaus

      A very different environment fromany we have seen yet.

    • Thank you, David. Yep, it definitely nice to be in a new space, for me and the artists too. 🙂

  • Klaus

    After the first bout of the great fight, Duncan mentions that he has several prisons. I trust that any that are occupied are also staffed.

  • bronakopdin

    gosh he’s so adorable x3 (I wanna slap my own face thinking about his adult self x’D)

    in a way… if this is not all good acting but real memory loss then I’d go as far as saying no, he did not do anything to Kyle… that was someone else… but as we don’t know for sure yet if it’s real amnesia or rather loss of memories that happened from that point onward in his bodily and mental aging, or just a superb sly fox who immediately saw his chance to get away with it all…

    but I tend more and ore to believe it’s the first >////<

  • Breathtaking composition on this page…

    I’m not entirely convinced about the amnesia, because of that “you’re the boy who found me.” Also, the first few lines of this conversation are exactly the things they’d be saying if they were both feeling out the possibility of a conversation about what happened without giving away to ExSec’s ears exactly what did happen. Quite apart from Duncan’s sense of self-preservation, the decent side of him may not trust ExSec with that information. Kyle could conceivably end up in the next cell along if ExSec knew *all* about him.

    • Stephen Hutchison

      Amnesia doesn’t keep you from making NEW memories. That’s a different thing entirely.

      • I wasn’t suggesting he can’t remember anything from after the bargain took effect; I was referring to the discussion downthread about whether a fifteen year old would refer to an eighteen year old (particularly an eighteen year old with adult body language) as a boy – that phrasing is suggestive of someone who’s older than Kyle.

        Also – there actually is a form of amnesia that prevents you from laying down new memories. I did think when we first saw Laampros’s little joke that for a really nasty twist he could have inflicted Duncan with something similar to the case of Clive Wearing. It would be within the *letter* of the bargain… But this scene suggests that whether or not he’s shamming about not remembering being the Annihilator, he does remember Kyle from after the battle.

        • Stephen Hutchison

          I was going to say “that’s not amnesia” but then I double-checked. What’s commonly called “amnesia” is technically “retrograde amnesia” while the inability to form new memory is “anterograde amnesia” … but in any case, anterograde amnesia (caused by damage to a specific part of the brain, e.g. rohypnol, or physical damage to nerves) generally allows a context to grow fairly complex, but doesn’t archive it into the rest of the neural net, so once the context is gone, so is the memory.

          Severe cases will be unable to have a coherent conversation, while more complex cases can retain a bit longer context as long as there’s continuity and no distraction. The “50 first dates” thing was when writers took a case of anterograde amnesia and tweaked it to fit their dramatic requirement. If DunKid had anterograde amnesia, I’m pretty sure they’d have noticed it.

          His remembering Kyle at all suggests against this being that form of amnesia — just that he was set to “youth” and his memories from his adult life were removed because they hadn’t happened yet to his body at that age. But Saxton’s response that it might be a rolling erasure is creepy and fits the theme of underworld punishments.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        One of the nastier possibilities of Laampros’ curse that occurred to me is that, just as he’s apparently trapped in eternal physical youth, his memories might similarly trapped in a very short term period. As in, some or all of his more recently acquired memories might be subject to ongoing, rolling removal.

        • D. G.

          I hadn’t considered dunkid’s state of youth to be permanent. I just figured he would continue to age from the reset point.

        • Stephen Hutchison

          That’s … kind of going the extra mile there isn’t it… But DunKid remembers him, so far.

  • Will Parkinson

    I really wanna believe him. Of course, I’m a sap, so…

  • Cman65

    Cute little twinkies are EVIL never trust one

    • NoiseShaper

      But instead trust someone speaking out of his behind?

      I’m not sure I’d go with that.

  • Tristan Black Wolf

    The long corridors feel like a cross between “The Silence of the Lambs” and NERV headquarters in “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” 🙂

  • Zephyr10101

    I don’t trust him. How could be faking it

  • means are the ends

    As much as I wanted a redemption arc for Duncan, this wasn’t it. I see how it fits the story, and even how it’s justice served. However, I was really invested in older Duncan, and he appears to be gone. If this IS a kid with wiped memories, then help him out, even put him in with the Young Protectors for supervision, but he’s not Duncan as we knew him. Good plotting, got me hooked, now I suffer the consequences!

    • D. G.

      I think I would have liked it best if Anni was age regressed to 20 yrs old. Without his memories. That way an even hotter romance could have followed. If he possessed his powers, he could be on the team. He did facilitate the prevention of hell on Earth by telling typ to push laampros back through the gate/portal. He changed teams to me in that moment. Ah well.

      • NoiseShaper

        He sort of did, but then even with Sircea he had claimed that limiting the impact on Laampros’ presumably inevitable invasion had been his priority all along, so when he was no longer able to have an influence himself he at least tried to help the other team.

        That, and Laampros probably being less than amused about his failure to execute the welcome celebrations as planned…

  • fujoshifanatic

    Poor DunKid! At this point, I think it’s better for him as a character–and this novel redemption arc (nice work Alex; totally did not see this coming!)–if he remains a blank slate and this conversation serves as closure for Kyle in the sense that the man who hurt him, who caused all this havoc in the first place, is no more, but there is hope for something good to come out of having known him, besides Kyle realizing his full potential as a hero. In that way, the “right” Duncan gets punished (by ceasing to exist as the Annihilator) and we still get the possibility of the likable Duncan we got a glimpse off continuing on in this story in a new iteration, and hopefully not trapped in the bowels of ExSec!

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Agree. It is an outstanding and fascinating twist.

  • Sapfo

    Let DunKid be able to start over!

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Ha! Let it be written, let it be done!

      • Sapfo

        Listen to this guy! He speaks the truth! 😀

  • Shiny Gwilly

    i was on a mini vacation of sorts and almost forgot about the updates! but now i’ve caught up
    i WANT to believe that dunkid (that’s a good one btw), truly doesn’t remember anything, his mind is really wiped clean and this is his second chance at making things right. eventually he’ll learn all the details of what his old/older self did and he’ll probably feel guilty about it despite not remembering it
    but honestly? it’s still hard to tell right now how honest he is. as much as i feel bad for him, i just don’t 100% trust him yet, and i’m curious on what him or kyle are going to say in this conversation, either way i hope it’s good for kyle
    also, look what you did kyle, now you’re “the angry boy”

    • Dakejev

      I think the “I just don’t 100% trust him yet” is why he’s in that massive cell structure… =p

      • Samurai Jack

        It also implies that he still has his powers…

        • D. G.

          It could also indicate his power status is yet unknown.

          • NoiseShaper

            At least as far as we can tell it seems they don’t know yet.

  • Jason Moon

    Kyle: So, uh, how’re things in prison? (snort) There really is no way to ask that that’s not awkward.

    DunKid: When they say ‘don’t drop the soap’, they’re not lyin’.” (squirms)

    • Madock345

      DunKid: *pulls a bar of soap out of his pocket and drops it*

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      I thought Dunkid was in solitary…….the soap thing only works if you’re in GP and this isn’t prison….yet.

  • Quinn Wendland

    Part of me thinks he’ll let smol Duncan out

  • azoreseuropa

    Kyle and tsunami is my favourite characters. I am curious to see how Duncan is going. I think he is so innocent. Satan is the reason Duncan didn’t remembered things. He is just kid.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    This is going to get interesting……..I don’t think Kyle has the clearance to let him out. but I can hardly wait to see where this discussion goes!

  • Dakejev

    I feel sorry for Duncan – well, I’ve felt sorry for him since the pact-making with the demon, but you know what I mean – because if he really is a clean slate now, he’s going to be paying the rest of his life for something he didn’t do. It must feel something like if you father had done a lot of bad things, you’d be locked up for life because of it…

    • Madock345

      Rest of his life is forever, so I hope not

      maybe they’ll eventually decide he’s clean and let him out.

      Or he will crawl out of the rubble after the collapse of the human race, millions of years in the future.

      • Chris Dangerfield

        Okay, that is super creepy and interesting.

  • Stephen Hutchison

    So, the bargain that PP wrote up was described on Laampros’ end as “immortality and youth” — really should’ve said “youthful vigor” there, but then the one who wrote the contract might have intended it this way. We’ll find out, if SHE is de-aged to before she’s competent. Maybe Laser Bear will have eaten her before we see her again. Dying offscreen would be far too much irony, though.

    The thing is — there’s nothing that was said that makes me think that Duncan is going to get older. Laampros would find it highly amusing to keep him too young.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Endless puberty IS hell on earth. As much as I hate what Duncan did to Kyle, THAT is cruelty worthy of a King of Hell! Yikes.

      • Pietro7

        What an ugly, ugly thought. And yes, very much believable from Laampros.

      • At least he should be above the age where his voice keeps cracking.

        Now, the age of being a horny teenager but being under constant surveilance..

    • Klaus

      Now I get this image of Sircea surrounding hersef with camaras because an oracle has told her that she will die off screen.

  • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

    If the Platinum Priestess has all her memories, then I bet DunKid has all of his and is faking it.

    Laampros promised the same “reward” to both of them after all.

    • Yeah, that is one of the big questions for me. How littlee/much did they both get affected, and did the result have same effect on them?
      Before this Duncan was aging normally while Sircea aged slooowly, so did the ‘rejuvenating’ do the same to them? I hope we get to hear that Spooky found her, but I have a feeling it could be something unsolved for now and used in next arc.

  • Zeeba17

    See, part of me thinks it makes sense for him to be faking, but it would make just as much sense for a demon to twist a bargain into this sort of thing. If he really has lost his memories, then all I can say is “Poor kid.” – waking up to find you were almost part of genocide is *not* an easy thing to deal with. And that’s not even including what he did to Kyle!

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Indeed… I get butterflies in my stomach just for being pulled over for ignoring something like a stop sign… let alone “genocide”.

      Oh Poop. I would frightening in spandex and I don’t have that nerve.

      It’s CLEAR @admiral Jane will have to be the super hero here.

      • Klaus

        Charges: two cases of overtaking in a no overtaking zone, one case of not stopping at a stop sign and one case of genocide.

  • Will Parkinson

    Okay, so… I’ve been giving this a lot of thought (probably too much), and I know this won’t make a lot of sense to people who aren’t inside my head, but I’m going to give it a go anyway.

    To those people who say that Anni is responsible for what happened–no matter which body he’s in–I thought of a scenario that might help prove why I disagree.

    Kyle had sex with the Annihilator. (Apparently some pretty good sex, judging by the result.) If someone asked Kyle right now, if he would have had sex with THIS version of Anni, it’s likely he’d say no. Why? You had sex with him before, right? Well, yes, but this isn’t the same person he did the deed with.

    So, if Kyle hasn’t and won’t have sex with THIS Anni, then apparently he can see that they’re not technically the same person, and has to give him the benefit of a doubt that his life path could change, depending on what Kyle does here and now.

    (See, I told you it didn’t make much sense.)

    • Pietro7

      Actually, it makes an interesting sort of sense. The Annihilator was a massively powerful 58-year-old man rich in experience and charisma. Easy to look up to in both physical and metaphorical terms. Dunkid is not any of those things. Something to think about.

  • glenroebuck

    There was more to the bargain. He was supposed to get the United States as well, so I don’t think this is the bargain at all, I think it is Lampy punishing Duncan (and probably the PP as well).

  • Zeruk

    Dunkid: Hey Kyle..?
    Kyle: Yes Dunkid?

    Dunkid: Have you ever had a dream that you did-but you di-how you-did but-you want to-can you-to you did-and-so-

  • Mir

    I think it’s much more effective to rehab Anni. Saves the hassle of having to lock him up and we know he never handled being treated like a criminal all that well. We’ll see what happens though.

  • Connor

    I think that in light of his memory loss and the fact that Duncan’s intentions were always toward the greater good, (at least in the whole ‘bringing Hell to Earth’ thing,) Exsec should at least try rehabilitating him.

    Because if he grows up in maximum security prison for something he can’t remember doing, it’s going to seriously scar him in a way that I, at least, would consider cruel and unusual.

    And if, as I suspect will happen, he never grows up, and he spends an extremely long time in the aforementioned prison situation, then eventually he will have an opportunity to escape. Nobody can keep up continually unerring security for centuries or millennia. And then when he does escape, he’ll have a serious bone to pick with society in general, and ExSec will have created a monster worse than the Annihilator ever was.

    Unless he’s just faking the amnesia, that is. But I suspect he’s not. After all, as fun as it would be to twist the intent of a contract to make him into a kid, how much more fun would it be to twist it further and make his mind into a kid again too? (A lot more fun, is the answer.)

  • Are you still mad at me?» asks the pure hearted boy, who, despite having been scared shitless by their first meeting, has that warm fluttering feeling in his belly since the flame man entered the confinement room.
    No.» he replies with a frown about to shred his brand (HAH!) new supersuit.

    • Pietro7

      Now Kyle is mad at the person you _were_, Dunkid. Not you now.

  • EyeDontNo

    Laampros’ comments about how lust can make you all so weak (http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch2-page-36/) was a double-edged comment. He used Duncan’s lust for Kyle to distract him so Duncan didn’t realize Laampros was rewording the deal.
    It was a ‘ignore the tone, concentrate on the meaning’ situation that Duncan failed and he’s paying for it now.

    • Pietro7

      Very good observation, Eye. Much to think about there. Thanks!

    • Klaus

      Actually, when Laampros tried to rephrase the terms, Duncan insisted on the original terms. At least that is how I interpret this:
      http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch2-page-38/

  • Pietro7

    Sooooo . . . did anyone remember to bring cookies for Alex?
    (Surreptitiously unwraps plate of sugar cookies and thin mints.)

    • davefragments

      A day early? Now that is a bribe…

      • Pietro7

        Shhhh! 🙂

    • Does Doki smell thin mints?

      • Pietro7

        Not yet. 🙂

  • Pikinanou

    lol now i get the silence of the lamb reference XD dunno i was expecting kyle to talk with the army or the government to explain what happened, not see the kid. i was too exited to catch up with the story to notice i guess

  • Ansel

    I don’t think anyone’s said this yet but they probably have. What if it’s not Duncan?Grab some sorta similar kid, shove remaining armour on him, memory wipe, bail? Possibly orchestrated by Sircea while Duncan was still out

    • Klaus

      I would think that Spooky’s Circea ward would prevent that. It would not do much good to keep her out if she can cast magic into the area from a distance.

      • Madock345

        Assuming the ward survived the arrival of a prince of hell, the destruction of the general area, and Spooky’s death.

  • Klaus

    I wonder what ExSec is telling the public. Catching the most feared superhero in the world is a major triumph. They would want to publish that. But how much do they tell? And are there reasons they might want to keep it secret altogether?

    And how are the Annihilator’s people going to react? How large is his organisation anyway?

    • timemonkey

      Supervillain.

      • Klaus

        Thanks. Fixed.

    • ComicBookGoddess

      Certainly sounds like Kyle is out of the closet at least to ExSec.

  • Klaus

    It should be easy to check if Duncan has powers. Just take a blood sample. Does the needle go in with no more than usual resistance? Is the needle mark still there ten minutes later?

    • Chris Dangerfield

      OH Klaus, you cliff-hanger killer. 😀

      • Pietro7

        Actually, I think that’s a good idea. It would be Kewl if that was how ExSec actually verified his status. 🙂

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I’m definitely putting you on my team for your powers of common sense, Klaus.

  • davefragments

    Hello Campers.
    Goofy day. The Cable TV went out 10am and I specked only the news on the Internet or movies “on demand.” That worked but not on TV. Sadly, I missed Jeopardy (my favorite show). I did make the best Linguini and meatballs for dinner. Now I go to get ready for camping and I rip my Macbook’s charger cord in two. It’s scotch-taped together.

    So what questions will Kyle ask Dunkid?

    {When was your otoplasty?)
    {Do you remember our dinner at the warehouse and the rose petals?}

    • Pietro7

      I’d guess the second. 🙂
      I rather hope the answer is ‘No’, and truthful.

      I put a plate of cookies on the picnic table. Sugar cookies and thin mints, in equal numb – hey wait a minute, where did most of the thin mints go? Doki, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!

      • davefragments

        I’ll take a sugar cookie, thanks

      • Doki makes no promises about the safety of Thin Mints in her vacinity.

        • Pietro7

          LOL!

    • Saxon_Brenton

      We’re finally getting some rain, so that’s reasonably good news.

      • davefragments

        It also thunderstormed today. That’s rain every day for 6 days because I had the temerity to tell my landscaper the lawn needed mowed.

        • ComicBookGoddess

          I got to mow today. Yay!

          • davefragments

            I got 5 inches of grass

  • Hi, everyone!
    I’m kiiiinda here for camping. But I’m kinda distracted by Mario Kart.
    I’ll be around in between races. 😛

    • Pietro7

      Enjoy the races and have a cookie.

    • ComicBookGoddess

      I am making food and watching Shadowhunters.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I’m watching the All-Star game (baseball), which may be almost over now.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    So, who else is here camping tonight/today?

    • davefragments

      Hi Stick.

      • stickfigurefairytales

        Hi Dave! Sounds like you’ve been having a lot of rain lately.

        • davefragments

          Yeah, How’s things up north?

          • stickfigurefairytales

            We had a bunch of rain yesterday and a little bit today. Right now it’s just very humid.

          • davefragments

            the humidity gets me

          • stickfigurefairytales

            My mom LOATHES humidity.

          • davefragments

            And the AC is makes me shiver half the time

  • davefragments

    Patreon Rumbles

  • davefragments
  • Justin White

    im’ very curious about where you plan on going with this. Well done so fare if you are planning to set up a new story line, well done so fare.