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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 19

197 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 19

Oh, my. /Takei

(Thank you to Jen R. for giving me that HTML tag. 😉 )

We have new Fan Art by Sepherr! It’s some shirtless, sexy kissing between Kyle and The Annihilator. Definitely, check it out!

And we’re now well over two-thirds of the way to the next bonus page! WOOT!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Caroline O. & christopher s. (both making their second generous donations to The Young Protectors!) and Sola B. (who makes their fourth generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Christina K., Snail S., Lauren P., Derekica S. Grace C., Karla N., Alba C., Brenda H., Vanessa V. and Daniel G. for their generous donations over the last week!

And big hugs go out to new friends of The Young Protectors Meagan S. and Anna for their super-generous $25 donations! (Hi, Megan! Good to see you over here at The Young Protectors!)

It’s a huge morale boost for us to get such an outpouring of donations and your support is deeply appreciated. Thank you all so much! 😀

Meanwhile, in the comments, the debate continues over the action taking place in this scene. In addition to some lingering concerns about Kyle’s age, some readers have also raised questions about whether showing a scene like this gives unnecessary ammunition to those hostile to same-sex relationships (I respond with some of my own thoughts to that concern here) and also whether including a scene like this with themes of questionable consent and blackmail in a work of fiction will have dangerous effects on people’s real world behavior, fostering “an environment that is permissive to sexual harassment, assault and rape”. (That’s an interesting question to debate to be sure but the controversy over media effects on behavior has been covered a lot elsewhere and is already being well-discussed by all parties in the comments section, so for that, I see no need to chime in. I do, of course, appreciate the overall respectful tone everyone is using to discuss these issues and have found much of what you’ve all had to say very insightful.)

One thing I will chime in on, though, is the question that some long-time readers of Artifice have raised about whether The Young Protectors will be a “a stereotypical BL romance story.” I’ve talked a little bit about that already in the comments, but I should probably do so here as well. While I’m not sure exactly how one should define “a stereotypical BL romance story”, I will say that that this six-chapter arc is not just going to be about whether these two guys get together, get it on and/or form a “canon relationship”. That, in fact, the stakes become much, much larger, even larger than the life-or-death stakes I presented in Artifice, except unlike Artifice I have many, many more pages to build those stakes.

The Young Protectors came to fruition in a way that was quite different than how I usually approach my long-form writing. How exactly it came about is an interesting story for another time, but the end result is that this first chapter is essentially prologue. (In fact, I debated about whether I should actually label it “Prologue” here [instead of “Chapter One”]—and based on some of what I’m reading in the comments, if this story goes to print, I think I might do just that to avoid confusion.) So, while this scene does introduce these characters and set the stage for the main action—and is hopefully fun to read, at least for some!—it doesn’t give a great idea what the overall story is going to be about. Whether it was a wise choice to have a close-to-30 page prologue in a weekly webcomic, we’ll just have to see. But for those of you concerned that suddenly I’ve decided that building three-dimensional characters and dramatic tension are for the birds, allow me to reassure you, that is certainly not my intention. The Young Protectors starts out lighter in tone than Artifice and certainly more yaoi-flavored than Artifice, but this is still me with my own passions—there will be darkness, adversity, plot twists, heroism, affection and much, much higher stakes ahead.

Of course, none of this is meant to convince you that you should be enjoying The Young Protectors, if you are not. Or even that you should continue reading if it’s not holding your interest. My firm belief is that if a story isn’t working for a reader, the fault lies in the writing, not in the reader’s patience. While there were certainly readers of Artifice who at page 29 still thought it might turn out to be “some lame yaoi where the dominant guy subdues the prisoner, etc., etc.” (as one long-time commenter put it), my job as the writer is to hook you from the first page, not on the promise of potential rewards later.

But that said, I am again telling the kind of story I’ve always wanted to read. And if you have signed up for this ride, I can tell you that what you see here is just the tip of the iceberg of that story. This is our starting place. Much more is ahead. 🙂

Anyhoo! Debate and story-telling questions aside, there do seem to be some of you who are enjoying what’s happening in these pages and I’ve loved hearing from you in the comments. And on the next page, swear to God, my characters will use actual words.

Hope to see you there! 😀

Edit 6/19/12 11:55 PM: DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! It’s only been two weeks and thank to your generous donations, we’ve yet again hit the donation target. That means that in addition to the regular Saturday update, there will be a BONUS PAGE this Wednesday, June 20th—page 20! That’s in less than 12 hours! WOOT! 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!
  • Maggerz


    • Mokitty

       Oh dear lord. That’ll be all I see anytime I look at this page from now on. >.>

  • DoktorNauk

    He moaned. There, once and for all, he’s liking it.

    • DoktorNauk

      I forgot to mention that I’m liking it too ;). Keep up the amazing work!!

      • Thank you! I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying it! 😀

        • YangYueLan

           Thank you, I am going to need it.

  • YangYueLan

    Thank you for making my weekend more bearable. Now all I have to do is survive Sunday with my homophobic, 92 year old Grandpa. Don’t get me wrong, I love him, its just hard to talk to him. 

    • I’m glad I could help! (And I’ll be sending you all my positive thoughts to make your Sunday easier…)

  • I have enjoyed what I’ve read so far and hope to see more of this ravishing-against-the-wall stuff in the future; it’s quite hot! Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you, Samantha! I’m glad you’re enjoying what you’re seeing! 😀

  • krondr !


  • Mokitty

    Still no real dialogue… but somehow I don’t mind, haha.

    I suddenly have an image in my mind of these two, and I’ve been wanting to draw something for a while, so… expect some new fanart soon! <3

  • Holy Cow! Wow, Alex, this is freakin hot! I do believe they are both enjoying themselves quite a bit. Btw, I have read your other works, Alex so I know that no matter what you are going to be taking us on one Hell of a ride! I am all in!

    • That makes me very happy to hear, Jamie! Glad to have you onboard!

  • Jen Roberts

    I got mentioned in the newspost! This and the page? What a great birthday gift, thank you!

    I admit, the shamelessly shallow part of me is totally /Takei-ing over this page. The rest of me is still worried about Kyle, but taken without context? OMG this page.

    • Happy birthday, Jen! (And you’re very welcome. Thank you for the fun tag!)

      And hehe. I’m glad you’re enjoying what you’re seeing here. 😉

  • Woo!  Happy birthday to me too.  Yum!  😀

    • Jen Roberts

       Happy Birthday to you, too!

    • Woo! Happy birthday to you, my friend! I hope you have a great one! 😀

  • Knot_Knight

    You know, I already think I would totally buy this if it ever went to print.

    • That’s a really cool thing to say. Thank you. 🙂

  • thedragonwalker

    Well done, sir, with your twisty, devious little mind and your pencil/coloring people all blowing my mind and giving me a really good reason to have all my windows open to let in the Alaska night air. Very well done!!!

    • Thank you! (And that Alaska night air sounds refreshing…)

  • I’m sensing at the very least implied mansex coming around the corner.

    Yup my mind shall be staying in the gutter for a very long time.

  • Erica

    omg… *stares at Annihilator’s package* yes. it’s visible. very very visible. far more than every before. XD omg, it’s there. it’s like… bulging there.

    yes. yes. muy perfecto. si si si.

  • omgosh was worth the week of waiting!

  • VanQuinn

    This is a prologue? Now I’m worried about what with happen. I get the feeling Kyle will be with someone else at the end. Although I really want Anni and Kyle to be a couple just to see more of this action.

    And… that evil grin and subtle flash of teeth really makes me happy.

    •  “And… that evil grin and subtle flash of teeth really makes me happy.”

      That’s my favorite part of this page! 🙂

  • What exactly do you mean by actual words? At this point, it would seem a bit abrupt for any action to stop, unless their dialogue is something along the lines of, “Hey, while a dark alley is a pretty good place to grind, why don’t we take it back to my place?” or something equally cheesy and obviously suggestive. That’s basically what I’m expecting, anyhow, unless someone else suddenly makes an appearance and ruins all the fun– preferably another superhuman, and not an innocent, happy-go-lucky bystander who becomes traumatized for life. Unless the press has become so intent on getting shots of superhuman battles that they had photographers sneaking around the red light district until they coincidentally fell upon these two lovebirds.

    Yeah. I’m trying to run all of the possibilities through my mind, in case you haven’t noticed, so be sure to update on time. C:

    (Did that seriously just almost rhyme? -__-‘ )

    • I think one way to end the scene would be for Anni to leave Kyle hanging. He has got that boy so worked up, it won’t be long before he’s begging Anni for more. All Anni has to do is step back, say that he enjoyed the kiss, give Kyle his card with his (untraceable) number on and vanish. Kyle will be in touch.

  • The Annihilator’s smirk made this entire panel for me. I ended up smirking along with him, heh.

  • hmm. despite all the ick factor of Anni being (apparently) much older than Kyle and thus exhibiting a kind of predatory vibe, this is a pretty hot scene…although Anni’s white hair doesn’t really do it for me. Kyle on the other hand…

  • Shinashi

     “My firm belief is that if a story isn’t working for a reader, the fault lies in the writing, not in the reader’s patience. ”
    That is quite the belief! Even when you had that one comment, you still hold that belief? I did have a teacher that made us exclude author’s intent in our essays because whether or not the author intended it, only what the reader feels is what is important. Though I disagree to a large extent, it’s interesting to see someone else who sort of holds this belief who is on the opposite end of this belief. 

    For me, writing without anyone measuring in my intent will discourage me from writing! 

    • Well, this is a much longer discussion. And author intention absolutely matters to me. For me, the one consistent definition I have for “good art” is if I believe the author truly realized their intentions.

      But I suppose my point is that there are certainly times where the author’s reach exceeds their grasp and when that happens, I think it’s foolish (if tempting) to blame the reader for “not getting it”. Of course, sometimes there are readers who actually don’t get it—and so it’s good that you not take any one individual comment from a stranger too seriously—but I find that as an author that I in general prefer to give my readers the benefit of the doubt.

      When a reader offers a criticism (or a compliment), I always try to see things from their perspective. If I find that I don’t agree with where they are coming from, I bow to them with respect and let it go. And I pay more attention to trends of multiple comments over, say, an individual post.  And also certainly to what the comment is about (for example, someone feeling frustrated because of extended dramatic tension might be a sign of a problem, but it might also be a sign that they are hooked and you are doing things right. 😉 )

      But I do believe it’s both better for my growth as a writer (and for my sanity) if I accept that my writing isn’t perfect and that I always have things I can learn from my readers.

      • Shinashi

        Okay, I definitely understand more now. That is much more a gray area than I was reading into before. And much more agreeable XD. Thanks for answering! 😀 BTW~ Love ya writin’!

  • Hey Alex,
    I think the idea of calling the first chapter a prologue is a good idea. Because I think if it was termed a prologue people wouldn’t expect too much plot development in it and we could just read it as a nice smutty/romance opening that is their to partly introduces us the some characters until we actually get to the real story. A prologue is always used a a prop to introduce either setting or character or to get the whole BG info thing out of the way. But in its essence it is there to set the story up, put it in the starter blocks so to say, so that the story can take off smoothly in Chapter 01.
    I’m not saying we haven’t gotten a bit of a glimpse into the characters in these pages, but as one can see from the comments people are interpretating both characters action and reactions in widly different ways. While I feel we, as the reader, really don’t have enough info to base anything on yet.
    I understand where most people are coming from with their readings of this comic so far. But take Anni for example, everyone keeps calling him the villian and Alex has cast him as the villian in his posts and Kyle does seem to see him as a stereotypical villian. So I’m not saying he isn’t going to be the main villian in the story, but so far he hasn’t done anything really villianous yet. Kyle attacks Anni first, then Anni throws Kyle in the air to calm him down which admittedly is not something normal people would do but one could equate it as the super powered equivalant of slapping your friend in the face when they start to panic. Plus he does catch him in a gentle way. Then Kyle jumps from one conclussion to another – you’ll kill me, I’ll tell on you, I won’t betray my friends, OMG You are going to blackmail me – while Anni pretty much stands there, he reacts to Kyle but he isn’t actually the one who voiced those ‘threats’ first and if you look at his face he is slightly bewildred and amused by Kyle’s thought pattern. So he decides to just play a bit with Kyle who is freaking out. Plus he gives him an actual out on numerous accosions, it is Kyle who thinks it is shamefull to be gay not Anni and who practically demands Anni blackmails him, because he just can’t imagine why else Anni would be confronting him (While I, and the Anni as well it seems, can see another reason for the Anni taking an interest in Kyle!). So while Anni is just going with the flow and does use Kyle’s freaking out to his advangtage, he seems pretty nice rogueish guy who even adjusts his demands so that they put Kyle at ease.

    I do get why some people are upset or why this comic is just not everyone’s cup of tea, but so far the Anni hasn’t really done anything super evil, he has been more of a gentleman villian I would say. He is working of Kyle’s clues and playing a bit with Kyle’s  freaked outness, but Kyle isn’t really resisting him and is even handing him all the cues. Since we don’t know what kind of villian Anni is yet or even what kind of hero Kyle is – are they like the Avengers or the Young Avengers –  I don’t think we can really judge on either characters based on the few pages here.

    Sorry for the long post, I just needed to get this out of my system so I can focus on my uni work now.

    I am really enjoying the comic Alex, but I al glad to hear that this is only the prologue and there will actually be plot further along the line. Smutty stuff is fun, but Smutty pages and actual plot is a 100 times better 🙂

    • You’ve totally said what I’ve been saying all along!  Awesome.  I’m not the only one!

    • This is a very well thought out comment. Purple Sparkles. Thank you for it. 🙂

      (And I’m glad you’re enjoying the comic!)

  • This gets better page by page. This is brilliant Alex, very hot 😉

  • Avengelyne

    =O.O= Please, please, please tell me I’m not the only one to notice the Foxy seems to be REALLY enjoying himself…

  • I have to agree, Alex. I really don’t want to see any of that crappy yaoi in this comic. You might as well just quit now and start up a website called Yaoi911 or something. 🙂 

  • Monica

     Alex how did you do this! I’m voting for and old man and liking him! That is not me XD But keep it up, I hope to see clothes flying soon 😉

    • Mwa ha ha. Glad to give you something new to like. 😉

      • Monica

         Oh yes you do! I like it much!

  • MY GOD! Can I save this picture and post it as my background? PLEASE?

    My thoughts on the age thing since a lot of people seem to be talking about it.

    It really doesnt matter…
    first off its your comic, you do what you like, regardless of what others may say or not, second, from what I can guess from real world, one is normally older then the other and that age difference varies, its just what people find attractive. I personal like the ‘aged’ look – one reason why I had my husband grow a beard.

    Age really doesnt matter.

  • Whaaahh, super-amazing-hot page! ♥♥♥

    Also, thank you so much for your explanation about the ‘prologue-chapter one’-thing and the darker themes that are coming on, ’cause I’m really looking forward to that, Alex. As much as I like to see hot guys kissing each other, I still prefer this aspect combined with an interesting plot -exactly what I appreciated so very much in Artifice. Not that I doubted this, but I’ll definitly, DEFINITLY keep reading!

    • You’re welcome. I’m glad to hear you’re looking forward to what’s coming next. 🙂

  • Oh my gods. My brain just screamed “Yippee!” and exploded.

  • YersiniaP

    Thank you for putting up that explanation Alex, I really appreciate it!
    Not for myself, since I never doubted this story will evolve into something as gripping as all your stories, but for those people who have been clamoring for “a plot”.
    I have to say, I actually loved the way you introduced the main characters of this story, showing us Kyle’s deepest fear, and a good look into both his and the Annihilator’s souls.
    All that, plus giving us a hot snogging scene! Who could ask for more? 😉

    I think the problem, if it is one, with starting off like that was that it alienated those readers who were mostly into the action in Artifice, and accepted the romance as kind of happening on the sidelines, and were suddenly afraid you’d make this new comic into plotless smut.

    It’s really kind of sad to see that you cannot even have a sexy scene as the intro to a new comic, without people writing the whole thing off as “just another yaoi comic”. How dare you change the tone and pacing of your new work, now that people are used to the Artifice flavor! (I’m kidding! :))

    Anyway, enough from me. I basically wanted to say thank you for the comic, thank you for clearing up the confusion for these people, and I am really looking forward to eventually getting Artifice in print! 🙂

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      I will say, for me, it’s not that I need an action plot, rather that I simply haven’t gotten attached to the characters yet (I know if I keep reading, that may happen).

      I think it may be that I’m lacking any shared experience with these characters (as far as I can tell with what has been shown), so with no common ground with these characters, I’ve got nothing to latch onto.

      I’ve never had that internal dialogue of “should I, shouldn’t I?” about going into a gay bar. I had parents and friends who just plain accepted me for who I am, and I’ve actually never felt the need to go to a bar to pick up a date. I went straight from high school relationships to online dating. I never felt that real risk of being outed and ostracized for not being heterosexual, nor particularly for being transgendered. That means I feel like I don’t have much in common with Kyle.

      That leaves the Annihilator. He’s big, he’s buff, I kinda wish I could look like him but younger, but I’ve got no real emotional connection beyond “he’s hot!”, and lust is not a good basis on its own for a ‘relationship’ 😉

      I’m still reading, but it’s not the page-turner for me that Artifice was. Artifice actually was more relevant to my interests to begin with, as most of my reading is in the sci-fi genre. TYP is my first real experience of the superhero genre in ‘print’, so I’m kind of fumbling and groping my way through this story in the dark here, and I’m not sure whether I like it yet.

      Can I just say I love your online handle? The geek in me was very happy about that. 🙂

      • YersiniaP

        Can I just say I love your online handle? The geek in me was very happy about that.

        Aww, thank you! I’m glad I made your geek happy! 😀
        I’ve always liked the sound of the name – in German usage, you actually use the full name.
        Imagine my chagrin when I found out that English speaking people refer to the critter as “Y. Pestis”! What a waste of a nice name! 😉

        Anyway, yes, I do get your point, and while I like TYP, like you, I have yet to find myself camping at update time, as I sometimes did for Artifice when I had the time.

        But the fact that this story has not (yet?) enthralled me as much as Artifice has, I am still a little peeved at people throwing accusations around or people getting annoyed at the comic being different from Artifice.
        Not to mention the endless choir of , “eww, that’s gross, that’s rape, that’s sick, he’s too old, how can you find this hot”, yadda yadda, but that’s another rant entirely.

        Anyway, that’s why I was glad Alex cleared this issue up. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, YersiniaP. 🙂

      And yes, The Young Protectors starts out quite a bit differently than Artifice did. And this is just my second webcomic. I can totally see why some of previous Artifice readers might be anxious that I could be abandoning the very things they loved about my last effort. Hence, my note up above. 

      The Young Protectors will still be different than Artifice, of course. While some of the themes will be the same, some will be quite different. The tone of this comic will be more “superhero” vibe and less “thoughtful sci-fi”. But, like Artifice, while romance is a significant element in the story, especially in the beginning, the ultimate thrust of the plot won’t be about whether any two people hook up. The stakes will be quite different and quite a bit higher.

      But I did think it might be fun to start with the kissing up front. 😉

      (And I’m working hard on the files for the print version of Artifice right now. Looking forward to getting that out to y’all! 😀 )

  • OMG, can’t stop laughing. Kyle, you are HOPELESS. You were so insistent on allowing only a kiss – now look at yourself. Having you arse squashed, your thighs groped, your neck pretty much nibbled at – and look at you! You forget yourself in what, 1.5 minutes, maybe 2? What are you even doing putting up a show of being a “proper” poster superhero? 

  • iTVXQ

    Now this is a fantastic page but…… Am I the only one distracted by Anni’s very huge bulge down south? Well-hung are we?

    Anyways, great page as usual, and thanks for putting up the explanation. I personally think that people are overanalyzing this though. Just sit back and enjoy the show! 🙂

    • Maybe just has a quick reaction, lol. Remember how quick he was to intercept Kyle.

    • Mokitty

      Actually one of the earliest comments–perhaps even the very first comment– on this page was, “Crooooooooottch.”

      …so no, I don’t think you’re the only one haha.

      Although if you go back a few pages, the bulge is also there. Perhaps it’s just bulgey-looking because it is padded/armored? I mean, you gotta protect your… err… nevermind… o///o

    • Oh I don’t know, I think Annihilator’s “package” is definitely worth overanalyzing… 😉

      • iTVXQ

        Lol, now that’s true..! Okay everyone, go ahead and overanalyze it 8D

    • Thank you, iTVXQ!

  • Shasarazade

    It’d be really funny if Annihilator killed the mood by sucking really hard on his neck and leaving a monstrous hickey in a spot where Kyle’s costume and most turtlenecks can’t cover up. Even if Annihilator kept his mouth shut, Kyle would have a hell of a time explaining to his friends and teammates where that hickey came from, lol.

  • Going back to Alex’s comment on the previous page, I really see no contradiction between a gentle beginning and a more passionate/sassy development on Anni’s behalf.
    He’s obviously enjoying provokig Kyle and taking him outof his comfort zone. whatever may be the underlying motives for that. So why not take him as far out of his comfort zone as possible? Since I expect that once it’s over, Kyle would come to his senses a little and not be fully happy with his own swiftness of surrender.
    Besides, if Anni started like this straight away, likely Kyle wouldn’t have been nearly as cooperative. Remember how shocked he looked when Anni smooched him first?

    AND, most importantly at least to me personally, depicting both the gentle and the rough captures what I’m so captivated by in the whole man-love thing. It’s the multitude of possibilities, ranging from the tender, and emotional, and almost romantic to the agressively, quintessentially masculine, the whole Konan the barbarian rararrara thing. Obviously as a female person I would have no idea how these things actually work for real people, but I always had this idea that only being with one of his element could bring out in a man this degree of rough, unrelenting passion. I’m probably not getting my meaning across, but anyway this is why I don’t like classical yaoi, that they never reach this level of sizzle and sparks and only linger around the gentle and the feminine. Anyway… This is just me trying to say  I really enjoy the dynamic here.

    • leigh.bogle3234

      You’ve obviously never read any good yaoi if you’ve never seen that aggressive masculine sizzle and spark. No titles are coming to mind at the moment, but trust me, it’s out there!

    • Glad you’re enjoying it, December. And I like the way you’re thinking about the dynamic. 🙂

  • QuantumKid

    OH NO. don’t tell me we’re headed in THAT direction!!! You ladies better watch out!!!!! Ha ha ha!! Love it!

  • ^_^

  • Sepherr

    Haha, I knew this was coming after seeing the adverts on Teahouse, it’s so good to see it in full size! I think Kyle will have to be the one who ends this passionate scene, Anni seems to have no intention of stopping! 😉

  • Eisheth

    I trust you, Alex!  I figure, months from now, it’ll be all angsty and plotty, and I’ll be yearning for the halcyon wall-kissing days gone by.

    • Hehe. We’ll just have to see. Thank you for the vote of confidence!

  • Love Young Protectors, there aren’t enough comics like this, don’t get why people are focusing so muh on his age, he seems old enough to me. Can’t wait for more, will donate when i can find my card

    • Thank you, Andrew! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! 😀

  • j chan

    I think, in a story like this, it would just be easier if it weren’t a weekly webcomic. 🙂 YP seems like the type of story that you have to read in chunks.

  • I can’t believe people would really be trying to say that this comic in anyway promotes sexual harassment, or worse, rape… Are these people aware of all the non-consensual, or dubiously consensual sex that takes place in Romance novels written for women? I know the internet is full of trolls just looking to cause trouble, but I find it sad that trolls have made it here, to this wonderful webcomic, and want to gripe about something so stupid and so irrational…

    Alex, you are writing a wonderful story and I for one totally understand what is going on here… This scene is to hook readers, to get them interested in the story before the real action begins!  Maybe this is because I’m a comic reader so I know how first issues always work…

    I could also point out that to people questioning Kyle’s age:
    1. He could very easily be 18
    2. He is no younger than 16, and in most of Europe and even some states in America (My home state of Pennsylvania for one) the age of consent is in fact 16
    3. This is a freaking fantasy! Something tells me that a lot of people reading this are also fans of anime, especially if they are aware of the term Yaoi.  Anime is filled with junior high age girls having relationships with college age men… Its just a story… Chill out people!

    • A few pages ago Kyle said he was 17.
      Also about the age of consent in EU, it is 16 for sexual acts between two under 18 years olds – i.e. from 16 years onwards you can have consenting sex with another teen who is 16-17 (the essence is that neither are considered an adult). Then after 18, when you are considered of age, you can do pretty much wathever you want as long as it is consenting and there isn’t an issue of power abuse – as in between a Highschool teacher and a 19 year old pupil,  it is ok if it is between a 19 year old who works and his/her boss or a proffesor & student as long as there are no conflicting interests.
      Although that said EU, because of all the different countries, does have tons of different rules, but what I described is how it is done in my country and most of the neighbouring countries.

      • According to my research, France is 15 (as long as the non-minor participant isn’t an authority figure, such as a teacher or boss)
        Germany is 14
        Italy is 14-16
        Spain is 13-16
        Portugal is 14
        I could go on, but I don’t think I need to lol

    • I’m really glad you’re enjoying The Young Protectors, Andy—and that you’re liking what I’m trying to do here. Thank you very much for the props! 🙂

      And don’t be too quick to dismiss those who are concerned about media effects as “trolls”.  I actually don’t think they are trolling, but rather are expressing what they feel are legitimate concerns about how content like this and people’s fantasies might influence peoples actions in the real world. I might disagree with their conclusions, but I don’t believe they are “just looking to cause trouble.” And ultimately, I’m happy that people feel this comment section is a safe place to (respectfully) express their views on things. 🙂

  • Bealtaine

    I ought to be study for my final exam but I remembered it was Saturday and hightailed it here!Fun as it is to see Anni push Kyle’s boundaries ….I wouldn’t mind seeing the inside of that club or the rest of the team!:)

    • Glad to give you a break from your finals. And you’ll get to see the rest of Kyle’s team in the very next chapter! 🙂

      • Bealtaine

        *Pumps fist in air* Yay!

  • Flo_over

    If THIS is a problem for same sex relationships then what the hell is wrong with Romance novel writers?  Hm?  I am positive (as I read various forms of them) that romances have done this AND FAR FAR FAR more rape-y things than this tame kiss/grope session.  So, pot, kettle, shut up and enjoy the awesome art and the secret (or not so secret) fan girl thrill you get.

    Not to mention… it is fiction.  These characters aren’t real.  There IS a fine line between reality and fiction and HOPEFULLY (in theory) people are smart enough to understand that line.

    • Yeah… I gotta agree. If you guys consider this rape, you’ve probably never read an m/m romance novel.

  • jupiter143

    I don’t understand why people are making such a big deal about morally objectionable behavior from and effing SUPER VILLAIN! XD Seriously, that’s what they do, right? Also, just because this is a BL comic, does not mean it has to only deal with socially acceptable behaviors. Restricting your story telling just because you’re worried about what the mainstream will think makes more problems than it solves.

    Look, I’m not down with blackmail or rape or anything like that, but letting those who are on the outside of the gay lifestyle dictate how you operate within the lifestyle just gives them that much more control over you. The best way to gain equality is to ignore the noise and do what you gotta do. Tell the stories you want to tell. And on the same token, I would recommend some of the naysayers to read a real heterosexual romance novel and see what dubious consent REALLY is. :3 It is not the responsibility of every gay comic or story or movie (or whatever else) to be on its best behavior and to be a mouthpiece for how okay gays really are. And the same is said about the hetero community. I mean, Law and Order: SVU has more glorified child rape and torture than anything ever, and no one says anything about it even when the villain gets away. It’s a double standard that should not be perpetuated. That’s the only way to gain real equality.

    Lastly, all things aside, I can’t possibly see how this is going to be the overarching plot point of the whole comic anyway. Alex’s storytelling is never THAT shallow! :3

    •  You just summed up everything I wanted to say with this comment! Thank you so much for your voice of reason!

  • Suhndog

    MMM!  0///0  !   OK.. This is great!  I personally enjoy the age difference. Being a fan of slash/yaoi and a ‘bit more’, this build up [heh] is just great! What a cool way to create a big problem between the forces of good-and-evil!  Clever!  I like where you’re going with this Alex!  I’m a fan of ‘Gakuen Heaven’ and even ‘Loveless’, so this doesn’t bother me at all. Bottom line [LOL], it’s consensual. People should think out of the ‘cultural box’…  my ‘people’ consider 13 the age you’re a man. Thanks Alex for your vision, and presenting a fabulous Comic!  Kyle seems to be a neophyte at this… that would be dangerous, since he has apparently lost control [if he even had any!], and is being overwhelmed..  kinda like a roller-coaster ride!  You get in with anticipation, and end up screaming your lungs out [or maybe breakfast, also?! Heh!]… Keep it ‘up’!  Great Comic!  

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, Suhndog! (And I’m curious, who are your “people”?)

      • Suhndog

         I’m a gay Hebrew Christian.. Traditionally, boys become men at age 13, in the USA, it’s 18. [BTW, I’m a *real* minority – my ‘descriptive’ alone is enuf to illicit a lot of ‘controversy’, but I am what I am! :3

  • This page is hot. I mean, really hot. It normally takes more than a kiss to make me slightly breathless at the sight of a page but just… Adam and Veronica need so much kudos for this page. The art is beautiful for being just this side of the style you’d expect from a superhero comic. 

    There is something utterly precious about Kyle when he’s all pouty and trying to look tough. But I disagree that the dynamic is entirely one of coercion. I mean you have this moment of hesitancy and then total enthusiasm from Kyle’s corner and then we have the Annihilator – this incredibly powerful and apparently confident older man asking a seventeen year old boy for a kiss. 

    I mean sure he’s the villain: he’s trying to mess with Kyle’s head. But… I guess I’m saying that it probably isn’t that simple. That characters, good characters, have more motivation than that and I want to see how this goes. 

    I think it’s kind of a shame this is only a 30 page prologue-esque scenario but I suspect that this established dynamic: Kyle’s sheer want (the gay bar itself, his clinging to a man who is established as manipulative and villainous) and its conflicting need for secrecy clashing with the Annihilator’s personality and forcefulness must be integral to the plot. 

    Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you, icraveyaoi. I agree, Adam and Vero deserve all the props in the world for their great work on this scene. I’m really glad you’re enjoying it (and the possibilities it opens for the future of this story)!

  • I love YP and always wait for the new page with bubbling excitement. This page is no different. You are great, Alex & co! Keep it up <3

  • thisboybroken

    I think this is HOT!!! I remember being a 17 year old gay boy and my first kiss being with a much older guy who made the first move. Looking back on it now though, I am glad he did because I was too scared to make that move. I cannot wait to see what happens. Great job Alex!

  • Xocoatldreams

    That smirk, just barely there, DAMN!

  • Roseland

    I find this really hot. The scenario looks right to me – when you are young and in the closet, you are both fearful of things happening and desperately want them to happen, and if someone else takes the lead, it’s just such a relief. I think Kyle really subliminally wanted something to happen, hence the trip to the gay bar.  I think he is kissing Anni not so much because he is afraid of Anni, but because he desperately wants to be kissed by a man.

    This is what I see happening here, and it is not the same as the same scenario happening between an older man and a younger woman in a dark alley, in which case I would by all means see it as exploitative. Frankly, by the time most women reach 17, their chances of having been propositioned or even assaulted on the street are quite high,usually significantly lowering the desire to kiss strangers in dark alleys – the dynamic is just not the same given all this history.

    That said, people who tell others that these scenarios are ok because romance novels are full of dubious consent – really? Do you really, really think romance novels do not promote rape culture, just because they are for women and by women? I have news, rape culture is everywhere. Women can absorb and promote it just as men can.

    Regarding people telling others to chill – look, Alex enjoys argument, and as long as it is respectful, argument here is a good thing.

    •  This has nothing to do with the strip at all and is in the spirit of healthy debate, re: romance novels. I don’t actually read them but I do read fanfic and the debate there is much the same. I’ll agree that scenes of dubious and/or non consent can absolutely be done poorly and exploitatively. But I don’t think they are inherantly bad and/or “promote rape culture.”

      These particular stories are (at least usually) more about sexual fantasy than they are about strict realism. And rape fantasies are actually really really common (across genders). I suppose you could argue that that’s a product of rape culture but I think that’s a mute point. Having this fantasy doesn’t mean somebody wants to rape or be raped in real life. Kinks are about taboos. 

      I don’t think that anyone should be accused of being culturally insensitive for wanting to explore that *fantasy.*  Stick a warning label at the top of the story to make it clear that it has content that might be triggering so people who want to steer clear of that material can. And I do think that readers and writers of this material should be able to recognize that “if this were a real life thing it wouldn’t be sexy it would be a crime.”

      • Roseland

        I am not a reader of romance novels, and I have no problem with people enjoying romance novels. But I do not think it is a valid argument to say “Scenario A is ok because it is even worse in romance novels.”

        (What bothers me about dubious consent scenarios in m/f romance storylines is their ubiquity rather than the existence of rape fantasies or dubious consent scenarios, if that makes sense. Of course you might disagree.)

      • The phrase you’re looking for it “moot point” not “mute point”.  Otherwise, well said!

    • Good points, Roseland. 🙂 (And I would say I enjoy discussion over say “argument”, but you are right, I do welcome respectful discussion of all issues here in the comments.)

      Glad you’re finding what you see here hot. 😉

  • madeli0108

    You managed to sum up my all time favorite scenes in one page; walls, pinning, leg lifting and neck-kissing, the sudden weakness and loss og motor control over your head, face and arms as someone just found your sweetspot …….LOVE IT!!!!!!! I think I stopped breathing when i looked at the top of the page and as i scrolled down…yeah, I think my heart lost a few years from how fast it was going.
    I really like the style it is done in, and the details, gotta love the details, and how Kyle seem to just melt….and that grin

    • Yay! Glad to sum up all that goodness for you in one page. (And having been on both sides of that situation IRL, I’ll admit it’s one of my favorite “scenes” as well. 😉 )

  • Finzz

    Thanks for the insight Alex, I’m looking forward to the rest of the story even more than I thought I was.  Reminds me of when I was reading the X-Men comics a few years ago, absolutely loved ’em.  ^^  Great stuff here; consent, passion, taboo relationships, super powers, what more could you want?

  • Oh god, no I want more.

  • Wow, it Annihilator keeps this up, Kyle’s gonna need a change of undies… and some of the readers here will too!  😉

  • ironbanana

    HOLY SHITE DO I HAVE A LADY BONER RIGHT NOW… this is going on my desktop!!!!!! I want a kiss like THIS! *_* Also, yes, I wolf-howled like George Takei or a Tex Avery cartoon wolf breaking plates on his head xD

  • Guh. Hngh. Bulge.

  • cat_girl_26

    Okay, as one of those folks who was concerned about establishing personalities and something by way of plot in order to deepen the complexity of this (potential) relationship…I would just like to say I am still thrilled by the last few pages. Ba ha ha! The Annihilator can push me up against a wall any time, seriously. Too bad I’m not a dude. 

    Have I mentioned how much I love the fact that Anni has arm hair? I love his entire portrayal. Most M/M comics that I’m familiar with are of the yaoi or yaoi inspired genre, so even when they feature middle aged men (rare enough), half the time they are still quite smooth and skinny, and appear no older than late 20s anyway. Bara features bigger/more many guys (sometimes TOO bulky), but so often it’s all about the sex with zero by way of character development or relationships. I’m quite excited that this comic is going to combine what is likely to be an awesome story with different body types. 

    As far as this scene glorifying rape culture…I have to be honest and say I’m not quite sure what all the fuss is about. It’s a kiss. Most people go through life having kissed a person or two that they maybe later wish they hadn’t, regardless of the reason behind it. Anni asked for ONE kiss, and the fact that Kyle continued kissing him after the first one ended, well, let’s just say he’s no longer being coerced. If he was really, truly uncomfortable he would have been well within the confines of the deal to have broken away and bolted after that first peck on page 17.

  • Michael Bowman

    Personally, I’m loving this prologue. I’ve read Artifice so I know how you write, and I very much love your work, so I hardly need any reassurances concerning future character development. Anyone who can make me fall in love with an emotional noob of an android is bound to be able to make me love and adore a hot seventeen year old and a super hot “older gentleman” regardless of their relationship status, heh.

    As for the other discussions, I’m not going to way in simply because I don’t think a discussion is really necessary, not for me anyway. I’ve found a great way to entertain myself now that Artifice is technically over (for now), so I’m happy. I good comic with awesome characters, that’s all I’m focused on~

  • Another Teahouse referee here! 🙂 I just read every thing, comments and all, in one go, and just gotta say:

    1)Alex, Adam, Veronica, you guys are incredible. The more I look at a panel the more detailed I find Adam’s line work, and Veronica’s coloring is just so. Damn. Pretty. I trust Alex’s writing wholeheartedly, plus I adore the way you’ve been handling the discussions so far. Kink vs. Social norms is always troublesome, great of you to have kept it from getting messy.

    2)Kyle and Fox touched several nerves there: age, experience, consent, lawful vs unlawful. Well something is a kink because our downstairs brain cares shit for logic and convention and morals and “upper stuff”, it wants what turns it on. People get turned on by blood, spiders, being eaten, bondage, scat, Hello Kitty, wet electric guitar, Rule #34,  don’t even try making sense of them. For the rape/non-consensual/dubious consent fantasy, it’s one of the most popular because it takes away the responsibility. See how people are wracking brains thinking of character motivations and plot direction? Well Lizard Brain can just say: “But I’m not doing anything, I’m being forced, see? I’m still the good, upstanding citizen I’m expected to be, yet I’m getting all the rough filthy sex I want, without having to do any of the job. Awesome!” It’s just that, a fantasy, boobs and balls you picture in your head to get off, it implies nothing about one as a person, certainly doesn’t say said person supports rape/wishes to be raped any more than contemplating alternate WWII endings meaning we want the Nazis back. There may be an explanation for the kink, there may not. Some might accept the explanation and move on, some might not. Well tough, ’cause it’s natural, it’s personal, and until someone actually goes out and rape/molest/eat people/do hurtful things in their fantasy, it’s not harmful. Just respect kinks like we do anything else that concerns personal opinions.

    With TYP, it’s a popular turn-on to have a morally ambiguous experienced sexy older gentleman type get up close with a young awkward hotheaded closeted heroic twink. Again logic goes out the windows, it’s shrugging off obligations and just being properly lured and seduced by someone who knows what he’s doing. It’s hot, it’s nice, good enough for Lizard Brain.

    That also doesn’t affect the plot, the characters, whatever Alex is cooking for us. This kink thing is a bonus. It’s so much fun to try and figure out why the guys do what they’re doing, yes, but sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy the show.

    @alexwoolfson:disqus : Though I think you should consider putting some warnings up there? “Your Kink Is Not My Kink, And That’s OK” only works when potentially triggery contents are warned for. Yours guarantee Underage, Dubious Consent, Age Disparity and Blackmailing.

    3)I gotta ask, have you heard of Slade/Robin by any chance? Snarky gray-haired anti-villain/Chaotic Neutral/mercenary type, with awesome names like Terminator or Deathstroke or Annihilator, with similar build and armor to boot, taking interest in a teenage hero with a temper, who’s part of a young team of superheroes? Hooboy. Even the blackmailing is a popular fandom trope as to how they can get further than punches. Funny how the pairing generates love and creep equally in much the same way your Kyle/Fox is doing. Figures this is pretty much the perfect combination of “So Wrong It’s Right (Or Just Wrong).

    Yes, I’m an unrepentant Slade/Dick shipper, I love it for the dirtyhotwrong dub-con actions as much as I love it for the heart-ripping loses they’ve been through and the smart, intense conversations they have and the brutal ways they hurt each other and how DC’s fate hinges on their interaction. Your comic promises me all of that, so finding TYP is like Chanukkah, Easter and Christmas in one day.

    Long cmt is long. Keep up the good work, guys <3


  • Dark_Otter

    Kyle is apparently ENJOYING this.  If he’s enjoying it, there’s no coercion, no rape, no nothing.

    You wanna see coercion, rape, and all sorts of awful stuff like that there?  Go look up Gengoroh Tagame, then we’ll talk.

    And if seeing something in a comic, video game, etc., makes you want to do it in real life, regardless of whether it’s jumping off the roof or beating up hookers, you have problems that go far beyond your media intake.

    (drops the mic)

  • KNT609

    Reading the comment things, Kyle could have walked away at any moment so no rape, he could have denied he ever went into the gay bar so even the threat isn’t that severe.  I don’t get why people are over thinking this.  I’m just enjoying the supervillain making out with the hero, it’s hot!!
    Also… I have read real rape comics, this is NOTHING compared to those, chill the hell out people… either enjoy the work or don’t reading it, no one is forcing you…
    Just like Kyle isn’t being forced 😀 brought it full circle!
    . . . I’m a dork and I love this comic so far…

  • Reading some of the comments I have to both agree and disagree. Granted the blackmailing a young boy for a kiss is… if’y, blackmail is indeed wrong, but the guy is a villian and the boy could just deny everything and say it’s the villian’s way of trying to destroy his rep or something. But let’s say he gave in because he fears blackmail, the terms are set… A kiss. How far will it go? 

    Will the vilian shrug off and leave the boy wanting, or start a new game of cat and mouse? Will the boy feel it’s going to far and shrug off? That last one is where it gets really questionable depending on the villian’s response. Will he let the boy shrug off and begin the cat and mouse game, will he let him shrug off and wait for the boy to seek him out, or will he demand more to keep this little secret? This is where it can get pretty hairy, depending on your views. 

    • Except Annihilator never said he’d blackmail Kyle.  Kyle came up with that himself as a reason for why he thought Annihilator wasn’t killing him.

      • Ah, a true and fair point. Kyle gave Annihilator something to play off of though, and he used it to demand a kiss with the whole “I promise I won’t tell if” type statements, still giving rise to the “How far is he willing to push it.”

        To me it’s a classic case of the push/pull thing (that probably makes no sense). Both are playing off the blackmail idea to get what they need/want. Anni using it to get his kiss, and once Anni gave his terms, Kyle using it as an excuse to have another man initiate something he may have been to afraid to do on his own. In the end, villian he may be, I don’t think Anni would actually make the kid go any further then he really wanted.

        Or maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ass and seeing things that are not there, looking for a deeper story that doesn’t even exist. >_> 

  • Ryn

    ooooh mama. that out make such a kick ass poster. :3

    Kyle is going to be so disheveled when this is over. I hope Annihilator is nice enough to escort him home, after throwing him for so many loops.

    • Then again, would Kyle want to have a “supervillain” know where he lives…?  😉

      • Superjenny

        I’m sure he already does.  He seems to be a rather intelligent supervillain…

  • Chaucer59

    I’m going to stick with my initial assessment. The Annihilator’s a villain, and he’s acting like one. It’s not ruining anything for me. We’ll see where this goes. If this goes to Alan Moore territory–well, rape is pretty nasty. I don’t object to it as a plot device unless someone tries to justify it.

    As to Alex’s question about switching up genders, yes I would still consider the aggressor’s tactics abhorrent. Powerful people playing someone’s naïveté against their judgment is immoral. Seduction should be enticement, not blackmail.

    • Becky


    Er I mean…*cough cough*
    Good page.  I like it.

  • Ditzite

    I… I love you Prologue!

  • Is it my imagination or has the Annihilator’s posing pouch expanded at least 3 sizes (I know mine has 🙂  )

    • Superjenny

      It’s like The Grinch’s heart, in that respect.  Except The Annihilator didn’t have to save Christmas, just win a rousing game of Blackmail Roulette.

      And what a rousing game it was, apparently!  >:3

  • I love that you are telling the stories you have always wanted and that you’re not afraid to experiment with the way you do it. I love that you are also not afraid to stay the course with a story even if some readers might question your methods, your abilities, and your sanity. :0) I am totally okay with seeing how this plays out over the long term. You didn’t disappoint with Artifice and I trust you won’t disappoint with YP.

    Regarding people’s issues with Kyle’s age…they’re just kissing. I don’t know what you plan to do with them farther along in the story, but just for the record I did notice that there’s nothing indicating that anything other than kissing will happen for Kyle before he’s legally an adult. Either way, I don’t mind waiting to see how it plays out.

  • Myrtu

    Words! Those are always fun.
    Even if I didn’t like it initially, I’ll keep reading a webcomic until it gets into the story enough for me to decide. Or leave it, come back when there’s enough story. So far I’m liking this one, but I think it’s too early to really make a decision. Like you said, this is setting up the stage, but it’s not going to be the one thing that the entire webcomic is about, and I’d rather find out what that thing is before I make a decision.

  • Adriana Ortega

    god poe polemic theme! LOVE IT

  • psiquest

    Now remember what your fairy godmother said, Annihilator… not one second past midnight or you’ll turn into a disco ball.

    • Becky


  • I know that people are entitled to their opinions with the whole ‘free speech’ right and all that, but it makes me shake my head that there are people here who are so hot and bothered by whatever kind of controversy they’ve connected with the recent -and may I add delicious- pages of The Young Protectors, and choose to complain so much about it to a world that really doesn’t want to hear about it. While I’m not giving myself points for whining about the whiners, what’s the point of being here if you’re just going to worry yourself about all the possible things that are wrong with something that, well, isn’t real!

    I’m pretty sure that no one with a healthy mind will suddenly turn into a murderer because they were killing people on Grand Theft Auto. I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna mass-murder a bunch of people in a Russian airport because Modern Warfare 2 had a ‘special’ mission I chose to play. I’m also pretty sure that people aren’t going to start going out to rape other people because that person will like it in the end because this comic has a little bit of questionable naughtiness.

    This comic is a comic, and it’s not real -as much as many others and myself wish it was.

    Great job as always Alex and other artists! xDD I’m excited for the next update! *Leaves a trail of drool*

    • Sepherr

      I completely agree. There are much worse things in our current lifestyle which seem much more controversial than the age of consent. (Plus, Kyle didn’t seem to put up much of a fight so it’s hardly rape!) 
      I don’t see a problem if two people seem to have a genuine chemistry and attraction, there shouldn’t be an issue with how old they are. I much prefer this kind of relationship to young gold diggers who marry much older people just for the sake of their wealth. Or those who actually force themselves onto others. 
      Well anyway, what’s important is that I’m enjoying it and can’t wait for the next page! ^^

    • As someone who is more than a little squicked out by this situation (age gap, blackmail, dubious consent) so far, I have to say– it’s not that I think comics like this are going to affect anything in the real world or influence people. Violence and sex happen just as much in the real world as in the fake media, but that doesn’t mean that this story so far can’t trigger real emotions in people, just like real events do. However, I DO recognize that this is just a comic, which is why I am continuing to read it– because you don’t have to be pleased from a story to truly enjoy it, and it is a mark of good storytelling to be uncomfortable or disgusted just as much as it is to be happy, because it’s still creating a real emotion in the reader from a fictional event or character. I don’t think any of the people who have criticized this so far are criticizing Alex as a person or his creative vision, and I for one certainly have many better things to do than sit around on the internet hating on things I don’t like.

      TLDR; in short, just because there are debates and controversy doesn’t mean there’s hate on this comic. As Alex said, all the comments have been pretty respectful, and he seems to be enjoying the sharing of opinions, so what’s the harm?

      • You’re very right. This situation could definitely be a trigger to some people. The topic of consent is tricky… Is anyone ever really in the state of mind necessary to give proper consent? ‘Informed consent’ in medicine requires the proper state of mind (or mental reasoning skills) and knowledge of available facts before making a decision. Anything from a past traumatic experience to high levels of current stress or an undiagnosed emotional condition changes whether consent was truly given. In Kyle’s case, his age could discredit his consent, though local laws also have an affect on the minimum age to give consent. Obviously true consent should be attempted regardless of the difficulties in achieving it, but needless to say, it’s interesting food for thought.

  • elle_ayelle

    *squeal* Every update feels like it’s my birthmas.

  • When I first saw the page, it gave me a small heart attack. Thanks Alex, Adam and Veronica. You guys make my saturdays so much better!

  • Ill kiss an old evil man if its that good of a kiss. Me next me next lol. 

    Wonderful page!

  • VanQuinn

    I come and check this page at least twice a day to 1) Stare at the image and recharge my good mood batteries. 2) Read the comments.

  • You should just.. like… upload something new every day… even though I know that’d be really hard on the artists… I still can’t wait for the new uploads.
    The weeks last so long when I’m waiting for this.

  • Excuse me…I need to go relieve myself…again.

  • QuantumKid

    Mr. Woolfson, this is just a question but…… are you a male appreciator yourself ? If you catch my tide, that is.

  • Yukiness

    I pop in on saturday and there was nothing but sheer beauty before my eyes. I take a day out to recover from my mental drooling session only to return and find a tiny whimper of surpressed passion. My iron fujoshi will has been broken, shattered by a meer “Ohh…”.

  • I have to admit, now that you’ve revealed (or perhaps just reminding, but I did not notice mention of it sooner) that this is going to be a prologue-ish beginning to a long series, I am much more interested to see where it leads, because I am sure that these two will not be the only focus in the overall story, nor their sexings.

    That being said… neck kisses are my ultimate weakness. You’re doomed, Kyle. Well played, Annihilator.

    • Becky

      Indeed. (To both parts of your comment… 🙂  )

    • Ryn

       agreed( to the first part). yeah, i want these two together or at least have them working towards something in the end. but i’m also super curious to the main plot of the story, it’s nice to have a action/adventure story that’s sideline romance is slashy. Het just gets so booooring after awhile.

      this prologue lays a nice and juicy bit of background about these two and  I’m sooo looking forward to their future interactions. 😀

  • Mephisto_Pheles

     I was NOT expecting the crotch bulge as I scrolled down to look at the comments!
    Awesome. Hahaha.

    •  I didn’t even notice that until I read your comment. Sure shows how much I care about dude crotches! XD

      • Becky

        I didn’t notice it either at first, but I think it’s more because my brain doesn’t expect them to be shiny spandex BLUE… lol.  🙂

  • Jen

    This is fantastic. Always love your work. I think I will like these characters  a lot. They’ve already got a great deal of depth to them.

    Keep it up~

  • Anticipating the actual dialogue, yes.

    But it’s impossible to not be hooked with this kind of action. (▰˘◡˘▰)

  • I have to admit, I’ve lurked about on here for a long time, but I really enjoy all of your stories. 🙂 And I especially can’t wait for this to update again. I had practically given up on searching for a good gay superhero story (the ones that I discovered on stopped updating or removed the story…). And then success! I came to check up on Artifice and saw that this was here! 
    Keep up the most awesome work! Even if it is a full week before updates I still re-read the comic that’s up so far just because it is that great!

  • Becky


  • hersourness

    Oh, but instinctual sounds of both pleasure and displeasure speak so many more volumes than the wittiest of dialogue when being manhandled. Of course; ” God I hope that isn’t a pair of rolled up socks…” is good, too. 

    It should be said that any writer who recognizes that the face value of any kind of writing, most especially that of a comic, can and usually will make or break the interest of a reader has at least got a fighting chance at making something great. I don’t need to hope for a better comic than what I have now because I enjoy things as they are going now. Will I hope for more? Of course, but my interest is in seeing things done as they have been thus far, not in hoping you’d have learned better by the second chapter.

    Simply put:

    <— Happy Camper. 😀

  • Michele M.

    OMG….nose bleed….thanks alex…..i love you….

  • Rex Justrex

    Speaking as a horny Top male Myself, I would so do him.

  • xLizardx

    No worries, Alex – I think that the pace of things only seems slower here because it is on a weekly-update basis. IMO, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the pacing, especially if I go back and read the pages consecutively. I personally tend to read entire books all in one go, so even with Artifice, I found it slow-going having to wait and read only a couple of pages a week! But, what I [and I think everyone else] has to bear in mind, is that we are receiving these updates, and this excellent entertainment for free. We’re lucky that you are here, offering your awesome storytelling skills free of charge, and, well, really it would be rather ungrateful to complain about not getting our fix fast enough. 

    Also, I know it’s a cliche, but you can’t please everyone all the time, right? Writing something that pleases you is the best way forward, and certainly worked extremely well for Artifice – just as, so far, it seems to be working here. Please don’t worry too much about the naysayers – it’s like a band changing direction slightly on their second album. Some people will complain that the first album was much better, but real fans will know that you can’t write exactly the same thing forever, and appreciate the differences. 🙂

  • Luci2k

    I’ve been waiting to see how far things go before joining the debate but, as we still have 11 pages to go,  I suppose I’ll jump in now and do my best not to write an essay.  I suppose I fall somewhere in between “It’s all fantasy so anything goes” and “It’s irresponsible to portray due to issues of age, consent, etc.”  One of the reasons I stopped reading most “traditional” yaoi is that I feel there is a prevalence of homophobic and damaging portrayals of gay men.  From the common “Rape is Love” stories to the the shame and reluctance of even those men who supposedly readily identify themselves as gay  (“But we’re both men” “No, don’t touch there”) I just don’t find the stories enjoyable.  And as a genre that is supposed to be written by females for females I worry that it is pushing or perpetuating (I don’t know enough about Japanese culture to say how accurately these ideas reflect societal perceptions) negative stereotypes among young women and therefore damaging.  Now I don’t think Young Protectors comes anywhere close to that although it has obviously given people pause for thought and lead to a lot of healthy discussion.

    I suppose my take on it is this – If someone in real life were to coerce one of my teenagers into a kiss by threatening to tell some secret, I would obviously not be OK with it even if my kid admitted to enjoying it.  For me the troubling issues here are Kyle’s youth and inexperience and of course the coercion.  But because it is fiction (I doubt we’ll see a wave of supervillians or even regular old dudes hanging out at gay bars waiting to blackmail young people)  I can remove myself from the situation a bit and even see the humor in it.  I personally don’t think that Anni’s intentions were malicious here.  It was Kyle who came up with the blackmail idea and I think the Annihilator decided to roll with it and see how much he could mess with Kyle while having no intentions of “outing him”.  Does that make it an OK thing to do? No, but so far it’s not enough to make me stop reading.

    Oh, Jeez it’s already an essay.  Let me just end with –  I’ve seen some compelling arguments on both sides and I feel it does people a disservice to tell them to relax because it’s just a story or conversely to them it’s wrong if they are enjoying it.  Hopefully, the discussion will continue to be respectful and perhaps some of us may see these issues presented in ways we hadn’t previously considered.

    • Roseland

      I agree with you completely about “rape is love” stories (in yaoi and elsewhere) – so, so, so sick of them. Regarding this scene, I think it has been ok with me so far because Anni feels light-hearted/mischievous to me rather than sinister and menacing. And as you say, it was Kyle, not Anni who threatened himself with Anni blackmailing him, which for me only adds to the mischievous tone of the scene.

  • Kuro_Tenshi

    Honestly I am loveing this, sure Kyle is young but he should have known better. The guy IS a “bad” guy. Plus it seriously doesn’t look like he is against it. He could have flamed the guy any time he wanted. So yeah, this comment may get attacked by others who disagree with me, but I will not be ashamed to say that I seriously can’t wait for this to update. ^w^

  • Guest

    I am not going to join in the debate that seems to be going on here, HOWEVER I will say that your artists are doing a wonderful job in the portrayal and the color department. XD Keep up the wonderful work to you all! 

  • I just want to stop and say that your work is wonderful, and your artistic team is doing a beautiful job portraying your characters! Keep up the fantastic work lovelies!!! <3

  • If I had 50 dollars, I would so give it to you guys right now….
    (Or more like, I would if I was sure my prying mother wouldn’t go looking through my account…)

  • I usually don’t comment, but this comment section is surprisingly filled with intelligent, pleasant people, so what the heck. 

    This debate is interesting for me. I’ve spent a good deal of time arguing on the internet about how important consent is and how our society blames victims (particularly women) for bringing assault upon themselves/not fighting back/enjoying it. Without opening a can of worms, any unwanted sexual contact is assault/harrassment/rape, regardless of what the victim is wearing, how much they fight back, or even if they “enjoy” it. So in that sense, Kyle is a victim here (whether he’s 17 or 37), and I can see why that could make people very uncomfortable. The same way rape porn makes a lot of people hugely uncomfortable, and contributes to the normalization of rape in our society. Media does influence human behaviour, so I’m not going to pretend like this couldn’t make some young man or woman feel like it would be OK if this happened to them, but I think there’s a lot to be said for a reader’s critical thinking skills and real life judgement. Certainly non-consensual sex portrayals, be they in yaoi or in porn influence the way we think about sex, dominance and consent. But I for one (and I’m sure other people too) am able to look at those situations and say “well, I wouldn’t want this to happen in real life, but I KNOW it’s fake, and damn if it doesn’t turn me on so I’m going to keep watching/reading”. It isn’t really that simple, but everyone has a different line when it comes to fictional non-consent. For some, this comic crosses the line. For others, it doesn’t. That’s neither good nor bad, nor here nor there, it just is. 
    Personally, I’m intrigued enough by the story, and also excited enough by the, um, “action” to keep reading (this is often how I feel about your stories Alex. I appreciate their beautiful and sexy imagery, but I also love that you HAVE ACTUAL PLOTS). My only dislike is that I don’t find Annihilator to be attractive at all (sorry, I’m shallow, I like to have my boy on boy action be very pretty and well groomed). The age thing on its own doesn’t bother me (it’s just a number), the consent thing mildly makes me squirm (I’m glad it does), the blackmail just seems like interesting plot. Great work (in my opinion) and I hope those who don’t like the story enjoy later chapters, or other works of yours!

  • Intriguing new update.  It took me a long time to find good words for it, but they are already all owed to you 🙂  I am interested…and eagerly awaiting some backstory.  Hoping for flashbacks!

  • Yukiness


    Now that I have collected my thoughts, I can respond to this is in a less fantarded manner. There is not a shadow of a doubt that this update pleases me. Everything about it screams excellence, artistically speaking as well as story telling wise too. The progression which led to this is like a breath of fresh air. Even the height level of mounted Kyle upon mounting Anni is enough to demonstrate that Kyle may be barely touching the floor right now. Everthing here is within reasonable amount.

    Also happy that the debating has simmered down. While I enjoy reading them (comment section here is the best) sometimes I can’t help but think people might be contemplating certain things too hard. The pace here is very different from Artiface so we can afford to sit back and enjoy the view for a moment.

  • fujoshifanatic

    YUM! When I saw this on the Teahouse page with the taglines, I knew that this was going to be just the kind of complex, hopefully funny and kiss-kiss-slap kind of relationships that I enjoy so much! Don’t have time to go through all the comments and offer my two cents, but I just wanted to say I LOVE this page (and I would love it more if it was available as a wallpaper!) and that you are awesome Alex!

    Oh, and YAY! Bonus page! Can it be tomorrow pretty please?

    • Oh, yes, it can be. 😀 New page up in less than 12 hours!

      (And thank you very much for the props, fujoshifanatic! They are very much appreciated!)

  • Lukka Rookswood

    This is definitely me in 30 years.

  • Ayella

    Have not commented in a while because I didn’t feel very sociable. Just wanted to let you know that I do love the story so far. I love the enticing start of it. I love the promise of conflict it already hints at.
    And last but not least: I think the banner over at Teahouse is ace! ‘It’s complicated’ made me laugh my tits off.

  • QuantumKid


    • Jen


  • GAH feels like forever since I’ve been on here! I’m loving this new comic, Alex! I’m a nerd when it comes to super heroes so this was a pleasant surprise. 😀

  • If I get sucked any deeper into this story, updates or no, there will be nothing of me left. D: What have you done to me???

  • If u look b/t kyles legs i swear the Anni. crouch got bigger!!

    • mikakitten

      HAHAH!!! Le grande BULDGE! :3 I noticed that too!! *blllluuush* I bet any money it’s getting warm down there!

      • Phoenix_xxx

        Is that a reference to the Minstrel advert or is it just me?

        • mikakitten

          Hehe I referenced :3 

    • OH MY GODS your right i just looked to see what your on about and i feel like a perv 🙁 ugh (shudder)

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Some people just really like to vent controversal topics at times like these. For myself, I just enjoy the story. It is well written and well drawn.

    The debates can be enjoyable of course, unless it devolves into flame wars…..those are not so much fun. ><

    In regards to Kyle's position….at least it has been confirmed that he was already gay, so it's not like he is not open to affection from a man, and if he's sneaking into a bar…well. The main problem I see is that he is a superhero? And Annihilator is a supervillian. WHich makes this a issue of alterior motives and conflict of interests more than anything else. I can see Annihilator trying to turn Kyle, either to his side or against his teammates he has sworn not to betray. Their reactions when they find out about this will be very interesting.

  • As for me I was a raging ball of hormones well past my 30’s but now that the big 5-0 is just past a year away I have fewer bouts of horniness…but then there are pages like this that take me back…My first kiss was tooo much like this he  left too soon…and left me wantng more….BTW Alex….was there something written on Kyle’s hand or not? Or will that be …explored ..later?

  • … Yeah I would be enjoying that too oh my god.

  • If u look b/y kyle’s legs i swear thats a boner

  • SolrSurfr3

    Well, looks like we’re just going to forget the “one kiss” deal. Not that Kyle seems to mind. XD Get some, Red!

  • TravelerOfWebcomics

    Hit the random button for the third time ever… was well-rewarded!

  • Axis Rhys

    duncan thats a bit more than a kiss lol.

  • Emiko

    fuuuck thats hot.

    • Amanda

      Freaking sexy as hell!

  • GodGunsGutsGlory

    Is this another method for the Queers to lure in the children?

    One day I will smell the smoke of your torment arise out of the lake of fire!

  • Red Dahl

    Omg i love this page!!! Soooo SEXY!!!

  • oh myyyyyy I bet he’s going to leave him hot and bothered…I just bet..

  • Red

    Oh my… what a page!

  • I keep on rereading this, and all I can say is wow, Anni’s forearm is as big as Kyle’s upper arm… Love the comparison between the two.