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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 16

130 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 16

“Good boy”? “Good boy”?! What, does Kyle get a milk bone or something if he “does it right”?!

(And I mean this kind of milk bone! Get your mind out of the gutter! Jeez…)

Also, is it just me or does The Annihilator have a certain, Captain Kirk vibe in Panel 2? Probably just me… 😀

We have new Fan Art—”Yaoi 911 Family” by geekypnai! And it not only has characters from both The Young Protectors and Artifice, but also stars a tremendously good likeness of yours truly! You definitely need to check it out!

And… we hit the donation target on Thursday, so that means that thanks to your generous donations there will be a BONUS PAGE on Wednesday, June 6th (page 17!) in addition to next Saturday’s regular update (page 18)! That’ll make two updates for next week! WOOT! Par-TAY!

Special thanks and a warm welcome go out to new supporters Mara C. christopher s., William D., Alicia H. & Susan D. for their generous donations over the last few days!

And big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors James A. for their super-generous $28 donation that put us over the top for the bonus page!

Gosh, it’s just been four pages and already we’re hitting another bonus page! That’s a lot faster than I expected this early in the comic. Thank you all so, so much! 😀

And boy oh boy was there a lot of discussion about Kyle’s age in the comments last time. For some, Kyle’s reveal that he is 17 years old made him too “creepy” to be a romantic interest and made The Annihilator a “pedo” for expressing such interest in him, with one reader commenting that a boy his age “should be playing kiss chase in the school yard” (which made me wish that my high school had school yard games like that!) Others felt a 17-year-old could be mature enough to make their own decisions involving sex, that there was a big difference between being attracted to a 17-year-old vs. 12-year-old and that “his 18th birthday” could well be “tomorrow” which might make this debate a non-issue, with one reader noting that Kyle was clearly “grown up enough to want to go to a bar and meet people”. These comments lead to a wider ranging discussion about how variable the age of consent is around the world (with only a handful of U.S. states raising it as high as 18 years old) as well as the legitimacy and necessity of increasingly restrictive obscenity and other laws such as those in Canada (a topic I find totally fascinating).

Again, all of this discussion was done in a thoughtful and respectful manner which I very much appreciate and I found I learned more than a few things myself from y’all. I really do love the community we’ve created here. You all are totally awesome. 🙂

So! Bonus page this Wednesday! And one I believe that some of you are going to find quite… appealing. Hope to see you there!


If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!
  • Woot!  Almost kissy face time!

  • This should be GOOOOOOOD.


  • Jen Roberts

    ..and you leave it there?! *dies* Need next page noooowwwww

  • I admit to some confusion.  Our giant A-team wants Kyle to kiss him.  He has stated that the way to keep him silent about Kyle’s (admittedly less-than-legal) entrance into a bar with questionable times for kicking out minors is for Kyle to kiss him as if KYLE is enjoying himself.

    Conclusions?  I think i second someone in the previous page who thought this was a dream, because, as weird as this sounds, it’s not quite evil enough.  I mean, there’s the questionable consent issue (having nothing to do with age) of Kyle not actually appearing to want to kiss anyone, much less an older gent with a painted-on outfit, but what’s the point of A-team wanting a kiss?  Even further, what’s the point of A-team getting a kiss from Kyle that’s just Kyle pretending to want it?  Finally, what’s the point of the pretense of enjoyment if the guy damn well knows the kiss isn’t brought on by desire?

    A kiss like that is like a bicycle for a fish; utterly facetious.

    Having said all that…A-team looks rather delicious in the face on panel 5.  I have to say, Adam DeKraker, that your art skills for faces are really amazing!  I love the expressions 🙂  

    • seekmore

       Pushing Kyle’s boundaries.

      That’s what he’s getting out of it.

      Could be he’s just amused to watch a young closet case squirm.

      In his mind, Kyle is basically a shiny toy he gets to play with – mentally, I mean.

      And hey, opportunities for make-outs with a cute boy are never something you pass up. 😉

      • I’d have to agree with that last part, save the fact that I have not gotten to enjoy that particular experience for a while.  

        Pushing boundaries, though?  I could agree with that, but again, it just doesn’t quite seem evil enough to be reality…

        • seekmore

          Why does the Annihilator have to be evil?

          • Exactly!  He doesn’t!  Which is why this whole situation is feeling odd to me.

          • seekmore

            Okay, now I’m confused. :/

  • i feel bad for Kyle. i mean, if i was him, living in a world populated with super heroes and super villains, i would not want to be kissing my enemy…that would be so uncomfortable…uncomfortable like thinking the whole time, “is he going to kill me? is he going to throw me up in the air and not catch me?” plus i’d be pissed off that not only am i outclassed but now i have to kiss my enemy? so annoying. 

    i wonder what the tension level of this world is…like is death a genuine possibility that constantly looms, or is this more like laid back, white-collar crime fighting? 

    if death is daily reality then i’d think Kyle would be really uncomfortable with all of this.

    • seekmore

      Calling the Annihilator his enemy is a bit of a stretch. Kyle certainly didn’t recognize him as such. He describes himself as an anarchist, but that doesn’t translate into villain. Kyle labels him evil, which, true, he doesn’t deny. But it’s clear at this point that Kyle is, in more than one way, naive and obviously prone to dramatics.

      I’m getting the impression he’s more Anti Hero – pursuing his own agenda that sometimes does good, sometimes does otherwise, and isn’t often legal. Like Deadpool, Rorschach, or Severus Snape. (Yes, I am aware those are all very different types of Anti-Heroes, just making a point)

      He’s an antagonist in this conversation, yes. But labeling him an enemy with the information we have is like labeling Draco Malfoy a major antagonist of the first Harry Potter novel.

      • Totally!  He strikes me as a man with a mission, a bit like the Anonymous movement.  Touching the “untouchables”, the corrupt powerful.  Vigilante justice.  V for Vendetta.  Digging out the ugly truth and destroying it.

  • Tai

    oooh yeaa i see were this is leading! Like we all: The person u kiss the very first time u fell in love with! I am just soo hoping that the old fella is not going to upuse his love IF kyle SHOULD fell in love with him!

    Well and about the whole 17 and kissing or doing an older guy thing:
    I like older people ( aspecially muscly older dude uuurrrghh hell yeah!)  … I ALWAYS have. I am 21 and both of my EX BF’s have been over 31!
    I work in a gaybar so u hear quite a lot and u chat alot about sex ( like gay friend do~)
    All my co-workers lost there viginity with 13-15 and stuff while i grew up in a religious family i had to hide it till i moved out and went to another country for uni! 
    SO i got my first kiss from a guy with 18 and fucked him after that (a 42 MUSCLE SILVER DADDY) and i dont regret anything! Just my childish thoughts that we will be together now and shit but it was just rough sex for him and that was it! I mean at one point u get used to it but when u get ur first kiss and ur FIRST time by that person it just means so much that u allready think u will marry him ( EVERYONE thinks like that aspecially when u like him alot) and back to the topic I DONT SEE THE PROBLEM! He is old enough to choose what he will do and WANTS to do. To be honest someone like me who likes older people this comic is just PURE HOTNESS!

     U guys are doing an AWESOME JOB pls carry on!! 
    Marcel~ xxxx

    • Been with a 43 one myself at 19. Nice memories, uh-huh

    • Thank you, Marcel—for sharing your personal experience and for the props! 🙂

  • Hmmm…. appealing, eh? I can go for that. >:3

  • Annihilator has TOTALLY got a candid camera rigged up.  lol!

    Hm, I wonder…  What if Annihilator was a late bloomer and was in denial he liked guys up until recently and is nearly as inexperienced as Kyle?  Considering how butch he is, that wouldn’t surprise me.  That would level the playing field a bit and make sense of why he seems to be overselling the blackmail angle.  Dude, you’re hot.  If he wasn’t so freaked out that you’re THE Annihilator, Kyle’d probably have let you sweep him off his feet by now!  I know I would!  😀

    Hey, does he moonlight as the bouncer at that bar?  That would be awesome.  lol!

    • OMG Anni as a bouncer, that’s perfect! And would explain why Kyle managed to not notice him… although he would have had to do an awfully quick costume change… 

      Also, I like to think he’s got a camera rigged up, but for personal use and not blackmail material ;3

  • thisboybroken

    Woo! Sexy evil daddy types are my favorite!

  • You’re Killing me with this, i need the next page!!
    *camping out* ;3;  

  • Laurenihilation

    I for one like Annihilator a lot, and would probably be really really sad if he suddenly becomes less involved in this comic because of this interesting situation. But I don’t believe that will happen. You’ve taken a lot of time to introduce him and Kyle to your readers, and usually one doesn’t do that for just ANY character. XD But who can tell? One way or another, cannot wait for Wednesday!!

  • grinsekatze

    Aww I wonder when my knight in shining armor will come and blackmail me for a kiss… ^^
    When I saw the first panels I thought “He can’t be so evil, look how nice he is towards Kyle with taking all his worries away and being friendly and all” (except for the blackmail issue) xD But the last panel Annie doesn’t look so friendly anymore. Pretty sure he has an evil plan, one kiss would be too tame to ask for with such a joker in his hands.
    I am so happy I don’t have to wait a whole week for the (smooching) update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hihihi

  • I can’t describe the happiness I feel because of the extra update on Wednesday. ♥ Ahh.

  • Monica

    I’m I suppose to dislike The Annihilator or something? Really… that ol’chap is what makes this series! 😀 Fuck the heroes…. literally please! 😀

  • Feverfew_M

    I don’t believe it’s a dream, as someone stated before. My guess is that Anni’s plans for Kyle are a bit more subtle and long term.
    Give him a taste of what he’s missing out on, always hiding from his
    teammates, and maybe slowly lure him to the anarchistic side of things. Maybe he just wants some minions, maybe there is someone on the good side he wants to piss off (someone who told him once that heroes can’t be gay?), or maybe he’s just genuinely intrigued by another superpowered gay and wants to play.

    As for “make me believe you want it” – I think it’s a roundabout way to make Kyle let himself enjoy it. If Anni hadn’t attached this condition, what would Kyle have done? Pretended it was the most hideous and yucky thing in the world, of course, just to save his teenage pride. No way would he have let himself like it. And now that he has to pretend, he can genuinely enjoy it without losing his face. A nice bit of manipulation worthy of our shiny villain. 🙂

    • Oooh, I really like the idea of Anni wanting to piss off someone who said that heroes can’t be gay. That would be the most awesome ulterior motive imo.

  • Is it me or have their faces changed in this page?

  • Oh Kyle, you naive boy… And I don’t think 17 is too young, Alex, or that The Annihilator is a ‘pedo’ there’s always an air of ambiguity surrounding comic book characters’ ages and I personally like to think his silver hair is simply part of his ‘costume’–so to speak.

    I like it and I can’t wait for more… The Annihilator is one of my favourite ‘villains’ yet!

    • Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the comic, Cathcer! (And The Annihilator is one of your favorite villains? That’s awesome! 😀 )

  • okay, so I’m still pretty fixated on the idea that Anni isn’t necessarily ATTRACTED to Kyle, or vice-versa.
    Anni’s probably trying to enable Kyle to come out simply by attracting him to boy culture using his anarchist attitude to keep Kyle interested.
    In my head, their relationship is more like pokemon and trainer.  Under Anni’s guidance and influence, Kyle will “evolve” on his own into a more self-confident YOUNG man, who’s willing to PROTECT the opinion’s he agrees with (see what I did there?) instead of standing outside of the gates of the gay community.
    Kyle can be used to represent young gay culture.  Five years ago, when I was fourteen, being gay was starting to become more socially acceptable, but I had friends who were two or three years older than me that had trouble coming out still.  It’s one thing know understand your identity to any extent, but Kyle’s stuck in this socially imposed normative state of mind that being gay is far too unnaceptable by the standards of the world around him.
    The Annihilator is more like an older gay who was part of the initial rights movement.  He shows hints of having a hippie-esque mindset, and uses Kyle’s fear of being outed along with his own position as the town villain to test Kyle’s ability to comprehend what it means to be gay.

  • mikakitten

    Woo!! <3 Bonus page! Cannot wait… 😀

  • Talk about ramping the tension up! But I reckon Kyle is going to be the first one of them to get ‘wandering hands syndrome’ during the kiss. It’s now like he wants or needs permission to enjoy himself with Anni.

  • FaolanSwift

    Predator face.

  • ithilloke

    Alex, you are quite the tease! Captain Kirk vibe? Now THAT’s scary! O_O

    • LOL. Wait until he convinces your computer to commit suicide…

      • That wasn’t nice Alex…I have already had one computer do that…one day it was fine the next it wouldn’t go internet for me….not sure what happened.

  • D8 This kind of life style isn’t going to end well for Kyle. You don’t negotiate with terrorists or super villains. Poor kid 

  • This is moving a lot slower than Artifice. It is less captivating. I am waiting for things to start, but at this point, I have no emotions about any of the characters, or even know where the story is going, and we are 16 pages in.

    • I feel the opposite to you. This is going to be a multi-chapter story so there is time to spend on scene setting and character build-up. Artifice is a one-chapter story so by design had to move quicker. 

      I did get into comics/webcomics in my late twenties (more than a few years ago!), and got my reading bug with long novels, so a slow build-up works better for me as it is a more familiar approach. I like it as it gives me time to think about what might happen next, the possible motivations and consequences of specific actions. It is the thrill of the anticipation… hang on, much like how Anni is dragging things out for Kyle. Damn, this is turning into a literary critique!

      I hope you persevere with this as I have the feeling that there are going to be some awesome plot twists and turns coming up!

      •  I agree with Subhadra.  I wait a whole week for a new page, and then it’s a page of exactly the same as last week’s.  If this was updating daily, then the pacing would be fine, but it is insanely slow for a weekly update.

        • fujoshifanatic

           I think you’re overlooking the fact that this is written at a “print version pace”–that is, if this were an actual comic book you were holding in your hands to read (which I sincerely hope it will be someday!), the pacing would be fine. Since this is a webcomic that updates weekly (and sometimes twice weekly), it might seem a little slow to you, but that is one of the trade-offs you get in exchange for stellar storytelling and fantastic art, which sadly can’t be churned out at the pace you suggested. I have read webcomics that update daily, and frankly, they are always lacking in either art or plot (or both), so I’m quite happy with TYP as it stands, since I’m willing to wait for quality stuff.

          Hopefully you will find the story/pacing more to your liking as it progresses; I have a feeling that if you stick with it, it will be very worth the wait. 🙂

          •  Trust me, I will keep following it.  The artwork is too good not to!  After Artifice, I know Alex is a terrific storyteller, too.  This is just the slow, drawn out intro to the story. 😀

        • Yeah, the pacing is exactly the problem. Knowing some of Alex’s other works, I know that this story will heat up eventually, and I am sure be rather thrilling. But perhaps the medium is not right for the story. With the fast-paced story of Artifice, it worked well to have the story online: it could generate a great deal of anticipation with the long (weekly or bi-weekly updates) waits, and always paid off with an exciting page.
          That exciting page may be why it worked monetarily as well. When you paid for the bonus, you were getting something golden, something that get the emotions going. With this, I really don’t want to donate because I feel like I should just wait until the end of summer and then check back in, and that I would get more out of the story that way.
          Perhaps this story would be better marketed by advertising snapshots of more exciting parts, or a page as tease, and enticing the readers to buy the hard-copy. Long story short, I think the web comic medium works with some stories and not with others, and SO FAR (and I recognize this is early to pass final judgement) this story is not web comic material.

    • DayiaKnyte

      Also remember (as I mentioned in a previous post) the donation bar was almost half what it is now and we were spoiled with a bonus page almost every week from the very  begining.So, longer arc for character development AND and eternity between pages makes things seem like they are moving even slower then they actually are.
      Bats eyes at Alex … couldn’t you just lower the donation goal a teensy bit?

      • Hard to resist those batting eyes, my friend. 😉 As I said, the higher costs for the art are what’s behind the higher donation target for this comic. Otherwise I’d never in a million years have lowered it (the previous target felt pretty perfect to me). But I think I might be able to lower it from time to time for something like a “Christmas special” or something. If I can afford it, I certainly want to keep those bonus pages accessible to all my readers.

        But for now with all the work I’m having to do to get the Artifice book ready for print, I’ll admit that I’m fine with things being a bit slower on the bonus page front than they were at the end of Artifice. I’m of course delighted to post bonus pages—they’re a lot of fun for me and I love getting the story out faster if I can afford it—and when we hit targets, I’ll very gladly post them up. But having a bunch of single-update weeks for the next little bit is helping keep things a bit more manageable on my end. For now, anyway.  😉

  • HermeticallySealed

    Also, is it just me or does The Annihilator have a certain, Captain Kirk vibe in Panel 2? Probably just me…

    Iono, there is a bit of the Price Negotiator in this exchange . . . ;P

  • xLizardx

    “with one reader commenting that a boy his age “should be playing kiss chase in the school yard”” Really?! Kiss chase was a game we played in primary school [that’s elementary school, to all you Americans]. It only worked because at that age, everyone was grossed out by the idea. There’d be no point playing it as teenagers – everyone would want to get caught. 17 is plenty old enough to be engaging in a sexual relationship, if you’re ready for it – after all, a 17 year old can join the military, drive a car, and is only a year off being legally allowed to drink. Personally I believe that 16 is a good age of consent – an age at which you’re old enough to both want, and know that you want a sexual relationship, and also an age at which you are physically mature enough to enjoy it. I’m aware that it’s a matter of opinion, but Kyle being 17 does not strike me as controversial at all – and it really does seem like a few people are making a lot of fuss over something not very significant! Chill out guys. Maybe it is a cultural thing, but really – many people – in fact, I would purport, the majority – have had sex by or at Kyle’s age. And when we consider that this is not sex at all, but just a kiss… I’m feeling quite sorry for Mr. Fox, in fact. He is certainly not a “pedo”. 🙂

    • kiebeau

      Ah that would have been
      me, It’s just ‘cus I was innocent at that age. I get that 17 year
      olds are sexual active and stuff. I just can’t relate to the idea.

  • xLizardx

    Also, props for the Shatner face in panel 2 – it’s quite ironic actually, that with his true blue eyes and muscular physique, Annihilator would actually make a rather superb “All-American Hero” 😀

  • ManicThrifts

    So, this is the last day before I leave for two weeks…meaning when I come back, I’ll have THREE PAGES to read. I’m so excited you don’t even know.

  • fujoshifanatic

    Oh Alex, you just made me like Anni even more–I had such a crush on Captain Kirk in his prime, I wanted to be one of those alien chicks he kept banging all over the universe! 😛 And poor Kyle; why to I feel like he just entered into a Faustian agreement of epic proportions? I guess we’ll see on Wednesday (yay!). I think I’m going to enjoy the aftermath of the next page as much as the page itself! Splendid job as always, Alex! :-3

  • schmzowow

    page is great, annihilator is such a skeez, but i kind of love him for that. but what really killed me was your milkbone joke. i am a sucker for terrible jokes. i almost fell out of my chair from laughing. 

    • Heh. I promise I have a lot more terrible jokes where that came from. 😉

      • Lance Gilroy

        That was a wonderful example of “my brain so didn’t go there” but A+ dirty humor.  Keep ’em coming, not you know, cumming.

  • Something just occurred to me, seeing the comments about Why-is-Ani-making-Kyle-act-as-if-he-wants-it-when-he-so-obviously-already-knows-he-doesn’t. Well, it could be he’s being:

    A) Incredibly attentions, in the sense that he’s making it so that if Kyle ACTUALLY DOES LIKE IT, he won’t need to be holding back and acting don’t-like-it, don’t-kiss-back-so-much to hide he’s liking it, because the whole point is convincing Ani he’s enjoying the kissB) Incredibly conceited, in the sense he might be thinking that OBVIOUSLY Kyle will like kissing him, he’s a hell of a kisser, and let’s get on with this silly complex guilty for enjoying kissing the bad guy, shall we?
    C) Both.

    • Well reasoned. 

      (But, for the record, The Annihilator believes it is not conceit that informs the understanding he has of his irresistible kissing prowess, rather it is simply profound self-insight. 😉 )

  • I am immagining GSM skipping through a field of flowers while singing happy songs about how he gets whatever he wants.

  • Midwestmutt

    James T. Kirk was a dog’s dog. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he tried a boy or two. Starfleet probably kept it off the public record. The first interracial kiss on primetime tv in the 60’s was in itself almost too daring.

    • I like the cut of your jib, Mister.

    • If memory serves me Sulu was …..well OK George Takei IS gay but was not allowed to show it on the show

  • Williro

    Don’t kiss him, Kyle, that’s how they get you

    • seekmore

       “Get you”?

      Kyle “got” himself long before this encounter it seems.

    • So true.

  • Ryn

    fifth panel: Annihilator’s fingers are so crossed.

    and my initial reaction to the page… EEEEEEEEEE! *bounce**bounce*

    • Funny, Ryn; I was thinking the exact same thing. C:

      Also, anybody without that reaction isn’t a true yaoi fan. xD

  • we have no idea what all the powers of this guy is never kiss evil people ever heard of poison ivy kiss of poison who knows this guy mite copy or drain powers or even kill with a kiss you never know but who cares its gonna be hot ^^

  • Loving the slow build up. Truly. It makes waiting for the next page so exciting! My saturdays need to be filled with awesomeness.

    On an side note, I’m really digging the comic artwork and its pace. It’s staying true to the traditional comic which usually has you sitting on the edge of your bed and screaming when you have to wait for the next issue to come out. As much as I want Kyle to be taught a thing or two from Mr Silver Sexiness, I would be really disappointed if they just hauled in and made out. Suspense is awesome when done right!

    And Kyle…whhhy do you have to be so adorably naive? “You promise not to tell?” Pfft, yeah, he’s really promising to make sure you don’t forget this anytime soon.

    “Nothing more?” Uh-huh…there’s always a catch kid! 

    Whooo BONUS PAGE coming Wednesday! *snoopy dance*

    • Thank you, Kittymayhem! I’m glad very glad to hear you’re enjoying the art and pacing of The Young Protectors. 🙂

  • Kaiden Maccon

    I’m kind of still at the stage “Isn’t it more “wrong”/embarrassing to kiss you enemy then be found out that you where at a gay bar?” – I was just thinking WHAT if people found you he had kissed his enemy, now THAT would be a scandal. Lmao. 

    I can’t wait to read more, love the flow so far and the artwork. Now the only thing I can think of is: Kiss Kiss KISS Kiss!!! 

    • Thank you, Kaiden! (And it looks like you might just get your wish…….)

    • b3nc0

      I just remebered that Parkourman alias Anni was once called GSM, but where is it? Could he have hid it somewhere to snap shots of the infaming events to come? Tun-tun-duun

  • Hey!!.. He did’nt promise NO TOUNGUE..  I forsee a case of tonsil washing

  • Anni seemed pretty soft and nice in panel 5 as if he just needs that final push to get the target into the trap. And then in the last panel, he has succeeded and oh god that evil smirk!

    Can’t wait for the next update!!

  • Bealtaine

    I am slowly getting more and more excited about this comic…it may end up giving Artifice a run for its money :P.I’m really looking forward to seeing the other protectors and their reaction to the whole Big A/ Little K match up!

  • Annihilator would be really cool if he is either a ‘freelance hero for hire’ type anti-hero or a no-kill oathed thief who leaves innocents dizzy but alive and knocks other criminals out for ease of collection by cops so he’ll have no competition and minimal interference when he steals. His ‘mentoring’ of the ‘Young Protectors’ could be an extension of the no-kill oath to help them eliminate bykill when protecting innocents while also guaranteeing himself survivable encounters with them. Hope this keeps going in the way it’s started, it’s getting really good.

  • Leigh Nelson

    So, I love Annihilator, but I can’t see this lasting very long. I can’t tell if this is more of like Kyle’s origin story or is this like a Deadpool/Siryn type of deal? This is driving me mad, I can’t wait to see how this turns out! Oh and someone said that it’s the kissing that is how they get you? Nuh uh, it was the “Good boy” comment, dunno about anybody else but ooooh that made me melt! And I’m not even a boy…If Annihilator was telling me I was a good girl I’d totally be all his.

    • I’m interested by that, because I actually find the last panel super-creepy XD 

      • Leigh Nelson

        Haha! It is kinda creepy, and yet delicious all at the same time…which typing that actually made me feel icky. So I understand your perspective….

  • Katana_X

    So the art is really pretty, and I mean no offense here, but does this have a plot eventually?

    •  Character interaction and knowledge isn’t part of a plot?  I’m curious as to what you think would count – again, genuine question. 

      • Katana_X

        Character interaction (on its own) isn’t a plot: it’s a scene. We’ve only observed a scene here. There’s hints, but no actual plot. If you were going to outline it, what would YOU consider the plot to be? “A closeted gay super hero meets his nemesis who blackmails him for a forbidden kiss” is the very beginning of a plot, but not a plot in and of itself. It’s a scene.

        I (incorrectly) assumed “The Young Protectors” would be of a similar length as “Artifice.” I understand loving a piece of work and being protective of it, but I was sincerely wondering if this story would go deeper or not. I really enjoy the author’s previous work and the art is lovely. I just happen to be one of those people who prefers more in-depth plots. The author isn’t required to always provide that just because I like it — which I totally understand and respect. I really wasn’t trying to be snotty or anything. I was genuinely curious.

    • Howdy Katana_X!

      No offense taken. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again, my comics aren’t for everyone. Even among hardcore fans, every reader is going to have their own unique experience with a work. And IMHO, it’s very dangerous for an author to have the need for every one of their stories to please everyone—at best, it will dilute your vision and condemn your story to mediocrity; at worst, it will drive you crazy. 

      But I’m going to take you at your word and assume that you aren’t simply griping that this story isn’t working for you but instead are asking a serious question you legitimately want an answer to. And I think to do that, we might need to dig beneath the surface of what you’re asking to get at a real answer.

      You’ve asked if this comic “will have a plot eventually?” But I don’t actually think that’s your real question. I think you’d agree that by any conventional definition, The Young Protectors already has a plot. At a basic level, there are a sequence of events that follow each other causally. And it seem pretty clear that there will be a beginning, middle and end to the events we are seeing here. In terms of a more sophisticated definition of plot, from what we’ve seen so far, there is clear conflict between the characters where they want different things—Kyle wants to keep his secret, The Annihilator seems to want a kiss—and they both are trying different tactics to get what they want which informs their choices and actions. There’s been exposition, some rising action, it looks pretty certain we’ll get a climax, etc. etc. You know, plot.

      Even though it’s fashionable to label stories that seem to be just about making a physical connection “Plot? What plot?”, the truth is that unless the characters are complete ciphers, there is almost always a plot. Just with relatively small stakes. 

      So, I think what you’re responding to isn’t a lack of plot, but rather to the level of drama of what’s at stake. By page 10 of Artifice, It was clear that the stakes were life-or-death, at least for Deacon. Yet while Kyle might disagree with this, so far this chapter of The Young Protectors has really been just about a kiss.  Much lower stakes, yes?

      Of course, that doesn’t mean there are zero stakes here—you can see from the comments that a number of your fellow readers actually do care quite a bit about what’s going to happen next in The Young Protectors, even though so far it seems to be just about a kiss. (Although from these comments, I also think many of them are already intuiting some of the deeper issues and plot twists I’ll be exploring later…) But either way, I’m going to assume from what you said, that you are far less engaged than they.

      Thus, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think your real question is “Will the stakes eventually be greater than what I’m seeing here?”  And the answer is yes. Much, much greater, in fact. Even though we are starting from a lighter place, the stakes will get just as high with The Young Protectors as they did with the much shorter Artifice—”life or death” and more. It’s just that in a multi-chapter story, I have a bit more time to build those stakes.

      Should you have the patience to stick it out until we get there? Well, that’s something only you can answer. The nice thing about a webcomic is that you can check out for a few months and then check back in and be caught back up with very little time commitment. I, of course, would love for you stick around and continue to be a positive presence in the Comments section, but if you don’t care at all whether The Annihilator gets his kiss or whether Kyle’s secret is exposed or if anything more comes of what happens between these two guys here, I can happily inform you that this first chapter is less than 30 pages. So, if you’re liking the art, you won’t have to wait long for Chapter 2 to see if what’s at stake with the story then has more appeal to you.

      • Katana_X

         Ah, OK, thank you for your reply. I absolutely LOVED Artifice and I do *like* this story it’s just… I guess I didn’t realize it would be substantially longer than your previous project. I enjoy stories centered on physical intimacy, but generally I don’t consider them *great.*  Artifice was amazing, I guess I just have similar hopes for this story. I didn’t understand that Artifice was “much shorter.” Thank you for being so understanding about my comment. I really enjoy your work! Thank you!

  • Yukiness

    Ugh…suspense my beautiful nemisis, we meet once again upon a new playing field.

    I do like how things are dragging out. Rushed stories don’t work for me. Inariya Fusanosuke and Youka Nitta are the only two artists that can throw sex out there on page one and keep me caring. The tension here is as virginal (assuming) and awkward as our little KittyKat which is perfect; Awkwardness helps us relate. The conversation still feels a little strained to me however I’m a patient person. I know it will get better in time.

    • Thank you, Yukiness. I’m glad you’re enjoying the pacing. As for the dialogue, I’m sorry to hear that that is not working for you as well. Hopefully it will begin to feel more natural as we get to know these guys better. 🙂

      • Yukiness

        After Wednesday, I’m sure there will be a whole lot more to talk about between these two so I’m not too worried

  • Myrtu

    I didn’t comment on the last page, but I comment now.
    17 is a good age. Just because the law is set at 18 doesn’t mean that people younger than that don’t know/understand. I’m going to assume Kyle is in the middle/second half of his 17th year. I think that’s old enough to understand relationships, sex, alcohol, and drugs, and old enough to decide what to do about that. You don’t magically mature and gain all this knowledge at 18. So, Kyle’s old enough to make the decision to date someone, whether that someone is an old scary man or not.

    The Annihilator is so so sweet. I like the last panel, it’s so… unromantic XD It reminds me of a wrestling match.

    • Leigh Nelson

      I agree with you that maturity and knowledge is found by experience, but so far, from what we have seen of Kyle, he just doesn’t seem to be mature enough to know what is going on here, which was made fairly obvious by his childish tantrums and outbursts. However, I’m also fairly sure that this is going to teach him a few lessons. The more I think about it, the more I see Kyle as that kid who judges the situation before knowing the extent of the detials, rushes into a fight when he ought to take a step back and see the entire plan. I can see him rushing into a lot of bad situations throughout the storyline.

      I really just can’t wait to see the rest of the team. There has to be someone that anchors Kyle down. I’m still wondering if The Annihilator is a major mentor for Kyle or just an off-and-on mentor, but major player. I feel like there has to be a team member that Kyle relates to more often, one that anchors him.

      But then again I don’t doubt having Anni as a major love interest, mentoring Kyle intellectually, socially, physically and sexually.

      Either way I know I’ll enjoy it!

      • Myrtu

        So then the arguments should be centered around Kyle’s maturity level, not his age. I didn’t feel like he wasn’t mature enough though; I throw childish tantrums too, but that doesn’t showcase my actual maturity level. I’m not against The Annihilator being his “mentor” though, like you said. I pretty much share the same feelings as you! Can’t wait to see the rest of the team, and the rest of the story~

        • Leigh Nelson

          I understood what you meant, I just never put in my two cents in the age argument either, and I totally agree with you. Also, I throw temper tantrums as well, not sure there is anybody in the world who doesn’t, it’s just more with how he is handling this situation and the way his tantrums are that leads me to believe that he can’t actually handle the situation. I mean, we still have a lot to see from Kyle, I’m sure, but considering he was too afraid to go into a bar to meet people like-minded and oriented just makes me feel that this is going to turn bad, fast. After all, the first time he has seemed to accept his orientation and self, and he has to make out with his nemesis in order to get there. So fun ^_^ bad boys are the best.

  • JLJones

    Gah – you know, it figures. I disappear from this community for a few months, catch up on the archives, and the kiss page hasn’t been posted yet!  I could have really used it, to =(  I’m stuck listening to heart wrenching, sappy music to try and heal my broken heart.  BWAAAAAAA… Guh.

    Impatiently waiting for Wednesday, Alex.  Soooo, so impatient. 

  • cat_girl_26

    Oh, silly Kyle. There is absolutely NOTHING keeping the Annihilator from *continuing* to blackmail you after he’s gotten that kiss. It won’t erase the whole event from his mind, you know!

    I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens here! As fun as it is to be with a comic from inception to end, moments like these ones make me wish I’d stumbled on this halfway though, so there’d be a nice, fat archive to binge on before having to wait for the weekly updates! 😀

    I’m also thrilled to hear that The Young Protectors is going to be longer than Artifice! It was a fabulous story (missed my chance to support the pre-order and am really hoping you don’t wait *too* long to make the print copy available for online purchase) but I am getting all settled in here for a long, involved tale. I’m waiting to see a bit more dimension in Kyle, but I already feel like I could write an essay on the complexity of Anni’s (perceived) character, so I’m glad you’ll have plenty of room in the story to flesh them out! 

    Looking forward to Wednesday’s bonus page!

    • b3nc0

      If Kyle is talented/enthusiastic enough, he might actually blow Parkourman away =°O

      You can still reread the archives, it’s never the same the 2d or 3d time ♥

      • cat_girl_26

        Ha ha, I think I’ve reread ’em a good two or three times within the past two weeks! 

  • azurefiction

    I, for one, will be extremely thrilled if this goes older/younger relationship like I hope it will. If only because I, myself, am getting married to a man who is 18 years my senior. I love him to pieces and he loves me. Has NOTHING to do with how old he is ( << though I do admit I have a weakness towards older men and Annihilator has the silver hair that is part of that reason, heh ) and everything to do with how wonderful of a person he is.

    Annihilator is NOT a pedo – though I bet he's a bit perverted, heh.

    • Bianca Simone

      My friend is 24 and her hubby is 54. 😉 They love each other like crazy and they are adorable together.  Also, he looks like he’s 34 so I think people don’t know there’s a big age gap.

      I don’t think age difference is as big of a deal as maturity difference.  My fiance is only slightly younger than me (2 yrs) but he’s probably more mature than my guy friends who are my age or older than me!  I think 17/18/19 is that weird gray area in every teenager’s life where they’re still figuring out who they are AND escaping puberty AND changing from “kid” to “adult”.  Though some people still haven’t figured out how to BE an adult in their 40s but that is another conversation. LOL!

  • I have to admit it’s pretty funny. 🙂 I’m so excited for the next page! I can hardly wait! I can’t really donate much, unfortunately, so I donated what I could. But Kyle is so cute being all… awkward. XD

    • Glad you’re finding Kyle’s awkwardness cute, Suzie. 😉 (And thank you very much for the donation. It’s very much appreciated. 😀 )

  • b3nc0

    ‘Alright, you’re a bad guy, making fun of me, blackmailing me, just beat the sh*t outta me, but I gotta be sure I can totally trust you’
    Come ooon, Kyle, have you lost it?

    • In what way did Annihilator “beat the sh*t outta” Kyle?  He tossed Kyle in the air and rather chivalrously caught him again after Kyle would not stop attacking him.  😉

      • b3nc0

         Sorry, I mixed beat as vanquish with beat as strike & the sh*t thing just came to my hands while typing. Vous savez, ce n’est pas si facile de s’exprimer dans une autre langue. You know it ain’t that easy to express oneself in another language ¦'[

  • b3nc0

    Aaaaaand, link in the mail stil leads to Artifice, new ete link bars majestuously transparent, ete vote button much?

  • oscar4life

    ….. Nothing more? Are you sure about that? ¬.¬

    • Krista Parizek

      That’s what I’m thinking. 🙂 Kyle ain’t gonna do it right so he might get ‘punished’ for it. And I’m not talking about the tabloids  ^.~

  • 😀 If anything he is an ephebophile, not a pedophile. Get it right.

    • Leigh Nelson

      Actually, ephebophiles are for 15-16 year olds, so really he would be a teleiophile, because Kyle is 17. Even though there are the different age categories, the term “pedophile” is generally used in place of each separate age-oriented class.

  • Screaming in frustration.

    I can’t wait for those two updates this week.
    (Kirk Vibes, oh gahd. As if he wasn’t attractive enough.)

  • Camping for the Weds update!  YAY!  

  • Bianca Simone

    CAMPINGGGGGGG Alex it’s 1208 here, what’s going on? 😉  Just kidding!!  (I should have been in bed SO long ago…)

  • Just remembered about the page going up in a little bit! Am I too late for camping? I brought home-made enchiladas and Pepsi! 🙂

  • I did want to say one thing about this page. After re-reading it a few times, I just had the thought that for all that Silver Fox there is a villain, he’s actually being rather kind, possibly as kind as he could ever bring himself to be. I know that sounds really strange, especially since we haven’t gotten very far into this and don’t really know either character.  My reasoning is that with someone that young and inexperienced, there are all kinds of easy and terrible ways to manipulate and exploit them. Unfortunately, we hear about it all the time or have far too much personal experience with it.

    • Leigh Nelson

      Oh no I was thinking the same thing, but I actually think it’s because he has already gotten over the struggle he had with his orientation and feels bad for Kyle, who is still close minded about sexuality, and well, scared. Just because he’s a bad guy (and honestly I’m hoping he’s not a “bad guy” more a mercenary, maybe) doesn’t mean he can’t care ^_^

  • I brought the marshmellows! Who wants s’mores?

  • Monica

    I so LOVE that old geezer! 😀 

  • Lol Silver Fox is trolling Kyle. XD

  • SolrSurfr3

    Just one kiss? Please, I don’t trust this guy.

  • Red

    Mr. Annihilator…. you are naughty!

  • KanjiLikesBoys

    last panel is revving up my submissive engines

  • Ettina

    I was thinking Annihilator seemed OK until he decided to sexually assault Kyle. *Please* don’t have them wind up together!

  • Michael

    As a philemaphobe, this is basically my worst nightmare. Be outed to the world, or kiss someone? I think I’d prefer the muck-rakers.

    edit: yes, I’m reading through again. Excuse my several-years-late comments.