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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 23

122 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 23

“Feared”? But you’re such a big teddy bear! Um, aren’t you? Mr. The Annihilator, Sir?


Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Milena P. (who made their 2nd generous donation to The Young Protectors!), Lauren P. (who made their 3rd generous donation to The Young Protectors!) & Vanessa B. (who made their 4th generous donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporter Renee N. for their generous donations over the last week! You all rock!

Meanwhile, The Young Protectors page over at TV Tropes continues to be added to. With links to Affably Evil and Type I Anti-Villain, I’m really enjoying seeing how folks are perceiving The Annihilator. (And anything that introduces me to cool new Tropes pages is always appreciated!) I wonder how the perception of Anni will develop as y’all get to know him better in the upcoming chapters. 🙂

Finally, I have a request. I’ve been trying to get in contact with Artifice commenters Tharsonius, Hisoka Kurosaki, Vincent, J, Rors Lam, Enkidu, Haley Pierce & Lance Gilroy. If any of y’all know them on the Disqus space, could you please ask them to reach out to me? Thanks!

EDIT 7/7/12 3:23 PM EST: DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Thanks to your amazing generosity, the donation target has just been reached. That means that in addition to the regular update next Saturday (page 25!), there will be a bonus update this Wednesday (page 24!)!! Thank you all so much! You all ROCK!


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!
  • I love me some confident super villain ^.^

  • KrisYWC

    Love his evil laugh. I can’t fear him. 

  • Well, That’s one way of doing it…

  • ::giggling:: This page is freaking BRILLIANT 😀

  • ALEX!  You post so early that I keep missing camp!!!

    …but this is a very thoughtful take on the whole potential blackmail thing.  Wow.  Also, A-team’s last line?  HILARIOUS.  That’d be a pretty great soother to the whole identity anxiety issue, all right!

    • I’m glad you liked that last line, Summer. 🙂

      Oh and in response to

      ALEX!  You post so early that I keep missing camp!!!

      Mwa ha ha.

  • Oh my god, I seriously laughed out loud at the Annihilator’s response!  Too freakin’ awesome!

  • Way to get a free kiss!! XD

  • If you play Skyrim, don’t you think our Supervillian should have the voice of Belathor?  

  • Have sex, have sex!

    • Becky

      Haha, subtle.  🙂

    • YersiniaP

      Yeah, heaven forbid there’d be an actual story, right? 😛

  • Zemeriel Evangeline Angaros

    the “Mwa Ha Ha” was fantastic XD

  • ThatOddGuy

    Gah, alright, I give up. He’s so hot….curse you Silver Fox….Err….I mean….you know…

  • psiquest

    Is it just me or does Adam have the uncanny ability to visually tell a story solely with the characters’ eyes?

  • YangYueLan

    I love you, and this page. I am still laughing out loud to my self.  So glad my room mates cant here me, they would think I am nuttyer than I am. 😀

  • melinda stumpf

    wow i love him even more now. best villain ever

  • Avengelyne

    The man has a point…

  • CommodoreZelda

    I love how Kyle seems to care so much what The Annihilator thinks when they’re supposed to be enemies… and The Annihilator is just so jovial about it all. Freaking love him. <3

  • Alex, on TV Tropes they should add “Visual Pun” or “Stealth Pun” as Kyle could be considered literally a… ahem… “flaming faggot”.  😉

    Oh well done on the new page!  Annihilator is just so damn FUN!  And sexy…

    • VanQuinn

       Or “Flame-boyantly Gay”.

    • Hey Jay!

      I’m glad you liked the new page!

      As for “flaming faggot”, if there’s a pun there it didn’t come from me. When coming up with his powers, I never connected the term “flaming” in the flamboyant sense with Kyle in my mind and it still rings to me like a disconnect when I hear it. But I know many other readers have made that connection in the comments, so you are certainly not alone in enjoying that “pun.” 🙂

  • Interesting tactic there… now will Kyle follow or decide to be the most loved Super Hero on the planet, while having clandestine sexytimes with the Supervillain?

  • Pablo Cuervo

    I can relate to him. Since I was always told by millions of people that no matter what, I was going to be evil just for being gay and that I was going to burn in hell, I thought “what the heck, let’s be evil FOR REAL”. Of course my idea of being evil is not the same as the idea those millions have, and I suppose it is the same with Annihilator.

  • Oh my god. Annihilator’s so cute and amazing and hot. I want to see him with Kyle more and more.<3 Naked snuggling soon, right?
    …Right? D:

  • Larne

    I really love this comic :3 … and Anni. He is just amazing and definitly one of the best villians ever.  And I like his awesome point of view.

  • Becky

    First panel.  I love it so much!  🙂

    Feared supervillan or not, The Annihilator has a pretty good sense of humor.

  • that first panel is absolute WIN 

  • StarrySkyDancer

    That Laugh XD so freaking cheesy! 😛

  • This makes perfect sense and is excellent advice for life.  If something is harming and limiting you, go out and become bigger than that thing.  Then you will encompass it, instead of it encompassing you. 

    Mwa ha ha.  [dies.]

  • LOL! I love this guy… totally love him to bits.
    Mwa ha ha!

  • Sequinn

    That’s it.  After that last comment, I’m firmly ensconced on ‘Team Anni’.

  • Midwestmutt

    It is well that super powers don’t exist here for there would be a lot of pissed-off, gay supervillains striking back at a scornful world.

  • Midwestmutt

    Hell, even the gay superheroes would not be able to resist taking a shot or two. It will be interesting to watch Kyle work his way through this.

  • GideonBD

    That’s it. From now, I shall henceforth call him … the Mwahaha-lator! MWA HA HA!

    I love how the story’s really driven home the point to never judge a book by its cover, both in Hottie McRed’s world and in ours. Just look at the comments for past pages judging the Mwahaha-lator before he even had a chance to talk about himself and who he really is. People just saw what they wanted to see, not who the characters really are, and jumped to conclusions. I think Alex did a good job here demonstrating how important it is – for all people, regardless of sexual orientation – to not do that.

  • Brilliant! I love just how puzzled/confused Kyle looks in panel two. And Anni’s expression in panel six is just genius!

    And yes, even supervillians can be nice people too! 

  • Jen Roberts

    And now it is time to indulge in some EVIL LAUGHTER!

    Okay, this page is just wonderful.

  • sonartoo

    i really want this to be a cannon couple…  and for him to go a little villian.  lol

  • xLizardx

    The final line is genius. 😀

  • I LOVE this page.

    I love the last few pages, but I haven’t commented in a while due to school…:P Art projects and paint…Acrylic is forgiving.

    First off, Annihilator is evil in ways that make me want to be bad. I mean, not only did he get a kiss, but he got to make this kid squirm for kicks by exploiting his weakness and then decided NOT to use it for the hell of it. Manipulation 101 is in session! *taking notes*

    I really like how that last line makes you think.  It’s like a stamp on your brain that translates into “People don’t care about little things if you’re doing BIGGER things.” That’s so true and I totally appreciate that.
    Excellent as always. 🙂  Bonus points for the naivety on Kyle’s part. It makes him so cute. You’ll learn Kyle…you’ll learn. Take notes! 

    • I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the comic, KittyMayhem. Thank you for the thoughtful comment!

  • Dex X.

    Rofl. Well that’s definitely one way to do it. xD I love saturdays.

  • dramadiva44

    I’m in love!
    Kyle is so adorable and Anni is so sweet to him. I’m having visions of them teaming up to fight the evil forces of homophobia together!

  • So perfect! Oh my god I am crying with laughter! 

  • First comment on here. LOVE your comics! These two make me smile like crazy. Just to mention my husband has a huge age gap with me too so some of the whole you’ll learn in time stuff touches home XD. Except Im a girl in a relationship with a guy but oh well lol. My husband is turning 50 this year and I just turned 25.  I want to see these guys together! One of those truly complicated relationships with one being an anarchist and one being a good guy XD. And I dont know but I never considered an anarchist to automatically equal evil to the core. A lot of the anarchist characters ive read about always seem to be the fun to hate and fun to love bad characters. I love bad characters that have their sympathetic side to them.

    • Howdy Camille! I’m happy to hear you’re liking the comics! (And I also love bad characters that have a sympathetic side to them.)

      •  I know it sounds geeky but we play gurps and dungeons and dragons and our dungeon master always has bad guys like that.  You dont know wether you want your character to marry the guy or kill em XD. Love it!. Cant wait to see more of Ani!

  • This page made my day…XD

  • lol duh…. that last panel…was obvious

  • Chris Woodworth

    …I actually kind of have to respect that sort of outlook. XD

  • He makes a very valid point, you know… And taking it out of a villain context: as long as you are happy with who you are as a person, why should you care about one aspect of yourself?

  • StrawberryLime

    I’m certainly interested to see what his motivation for going super villain was. Or, like, what exactly makes him so villainous, because TBH, he’s pretty awesome. He’s like that grandfather-ly guy who was never affectionate but always taught you through the school of hard knocks. You resent it at the time but then look back later to go ‘damn he was awesome.’ :3

  • This is terribly amusing to me, because, yeah, once you become a huge, powerful villain, being gay really isn’t a thing people are gonna harp on you about.  XD

  • Rex Justrex

    Of course now “capturing the young superhero and sending him to certain doom” takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

    And since he’s the most powerful and feared super villain on the planet, what was he doing in a dingy alley behind a gay bar?

    Waiting for Kyle?

    Is a male cougar called a panther?

    Anni has some definite panther-esque qualities about him for sure.

  • nebi_lan

    Hahahahha oh my god i’m loving this man <3. Yes, indeed being the most feared supervillain has a lot of good stuff <3 and some plus like being bad and teasing & kissing young boy.

  • I love Saturdays. <3
    Anni = Pure Win

  • QuantumKid

    “AWWWWW YEAH” face in the first panel, lol.

  • This episode brought back some bitter feelings from a time when I was just learning who I was and trying to deal with it…also hiding it from my family because none of them were open minded enough to accept it…with the exception of my Mother…who once asked me “Whatever happened to that person you were writing to in Florida?” Rather than open old wounds and grab a can of salt….I just said we drifted apart. The truth was that he was accidentally killed and I had to deal with that on my own….all in all I am at peace with myself now…as for that person I was writing to in Florida…still an open wound…even 27 years later.

    • Hey caddy,

      While I am glad to hear that you’re at peace with yourself, I’m sorry to hear that this scene brought up some bad memories for you and I’m truly sorry about your loss.  I very much hope that there are supportive people in your life now whom you can talk to about what happened. 

  • fujoshifanatic

    Finally got back here–it’s been a hell of a couple of weeks–and I find last week’s awesome page, this week’s awesome page, and (I think) another awesome bonus page coming up! Yay!

    Anni is shaping up to be my favorite anarchist/supervillain ever! Not only was he able to give Kyle an important life lesson about making ASSumptions, he also gave him a very important and entertaining lesson on the art of kissing while still getting his naughty kicks in to boot. Now that’s what I call super multitasking. ;-P

    It will be very fun to see how their relationship develops from here. Hopefully it will involve many more important (and entertaining!) lessons for Kyle, and Anni too!

    Awesome job as always Alex! 😀

    • Thank you very much, fujoshifanatic! I’m glad you’re enjoying the comic. And I hope that the next few weeks are a lot easier for you! 😀

  • I absolutely love this webcomic! And I loved Artifice, and all the comics that came with signing up! (Gah, I can’t remember their names DX) I apologise for not commenting until now (not really sure why I didn’t…) but I’d like to let everyone involved in making this know that they are awesome in every way, and that Kyle’s face in the second panel is the best face I have ever seen anywhere! XD I’m beyond broke, or else I would give the whole $400 every week myself, if that shows how much I love this. I’m so glad Anni is turning kinda nicer (and he showed his weak side!). I never thought I’d want a 17-year-old to be with someone who looks as old as Anni, but I do, because they are both just awesome!
    Alright, I’m done obsessing, sorry for that. But seriously, everyone, EVERYONE involved in making this is absolutely epic, and everyone who donates proves that there are still people with good taste in this world. 
    ~Mitsuru Tsukikuro

    • Thank you, Mitsuru! I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying the comics! And I appreciate you taking the time to let us all know! 😀

  • El Allen

    Yay! Oh man, I LOVE ANNI. So cool. So evil. *swoon*

    On another note, I have been lurking here for a while and just wanted to tell you that I loved Artifice. Loved it. You and your artist buddies are just radsauce. 

  • b3nc0

    Why, I wouldn’t really call that ‘coming to terms’, Parkourman ¬_¬
    Kyle, honestly, ‘the gay thing’? It’s not remotely braver than ‘it’…

  • elijah elquest

    LUDDIT. last pannel. 

  • The supervillian makes a point…

  • oooo lala~ i love saturdays now

  • Erica

    man… anni is too cute. lol

  • ED

    Love that evil laugh :}

  • I do hope The Silver Fox will continue to burst into maniacal laughter randomly throughout the series, because that first panel is amazing. Then he goes on to be sweetly supportive except the only coming out advice he can give is “Be so evil it over shadows minor details like sexual preference.” I want to know more about this world though. Is it just our world, or is it homophobic enough to justify both Kyle’s fear and the Annihalator’s turn to super villainy? Is Anni sort of a misunderstood but largely reasonable guy, or is he waaaaay crazier than he’s appeared thus far? Also what passes for Super Villain in this universe, is he murdering hundreds of people for no reason like the Joker, or is he largely ray guns and bank jobs in between white collar crime a la Lex Luthor, or is he on some sort of semi-understandable crusade like Magneto?

    Basically, I want to know more things!

    •  Also, the Annihilator’s belt buckle looks like a little frowny face.

      • One_Traveller

         I’m sure we could all think of a few things that would make his belt buckle happy again;)

  • Lawenta Elar


    Okay, pup. Don’t listen to him. There are other, less extreme ways to accept your own sexuality, I promise.

    Still, love that point. XD

    Friend or foe, Anni is going to be a very entertaining character!

    Thank you for sharing yet another engaging story, Alex. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, Lawenta. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it. 🙂

  • Hinata Akari

    Hi there. My name is Akari. I’ve been viewing your work for a while now
    (I’m a HUGE fan of Artifice!), but I’ve never really commented until
    now. But I think I’ve finally found a place where I fit in! And I must
    say, this new comic is amazing! I love the artwork and the suspense that
    comes with every page! I can’t wait for the next extra update on
    Wednesday! Trust me, if I had a well-paying job, I would donate as much
    as possible, but sadly, I don’t. ^_^;; Please keep up the good work! Your fans will be rooting for you! 

    • Thank you, Akari! I’m really glad you’ve been enjoying the comics! We’ll try our best to keep up the good work! 😀

      • Hinata Akari

        No problem! You’re very talented in what you do, and I think that’s great! I’m a mangaka here in Japan….well, ALMOST a mangaka. ^_^;; My work hasn’t been very popular with too many publishers, and I often get rejected, but I’ll keep trying! :3 Also, I can’t wait for Saturday!!! 

        • Well, thank you again. It’s always especially flattering to get props from another creator. Good luck with your work as well! 😀

          • Hinata Akari

            Thanks so much! Now, off to finish that last page…..

  • Feverfew_M

    Ha, I’m sure it didn’t matter much anymore. But how does being universally feared affect the chances of getting laid? 😀

    On a more serious note I now ask myself if Anni ((thought he)) had to deal all alone with “the gay thing” or if someone let him down badly.

  • (i haven’t had any cheese in a while.

    . . . . .


    you’re offering me some, Anni?

    “**Mwa ha ha**”


    and such a triumphant Cheese, indeed!

    why, thank you, Sir!

    *also assumes a classic, super-villainic cackling pose*)

    Reds is so derpy.

    and full of Derp.

    is how i sees ´em.


  • Taylee94

    I adore the last panel.

    “Just became the biggest badass ever. That’s all. No biggie.”

    I can’t pin point it but there’s something that makes me absolutely adore this comic xD I suspect it might be the execution of the dialog; the rhythm, timing and flow of the words. Everything seems to fit perfectly together. (Yes I’m nerding out about language, sue me.) Of course the beautifully done artwork contributes greatly to the enjoyment. 

    I also love the characters we’ve seen. Neither of them are stereo-typical to their character roles. Annihilator has a nice compassionate side and his naughty bad side; and you can see that he’s not bad just to be bad; he really believes in his actions and what he does. Kyle’s no Gary-Stu either like a lot of characters. He made a mistake in judging someone immediately, and he’s insecure about himself. I love how real they are.

    • Glad to hear you’re liking The Young Protectors!

      (And thank you for the very kind words about the dialogue and characterization, Tanaya.  That means a a lot to me.  🙂 )

      • espoirepourmesreves

        Of course! Anyone can get awesome artists; but for something to be a full comic, it needs not only great artwork (and maybe some smut xD) but also solid work from the writer in both dialog and character development. That’s what I love about this comic; it’s way above what is usually seen in both departments. Both the art and the writing are so wonderful and original and it really shows through the final product! 😀 (Made a discus account so this is still me xD) And yeah. Expect me to nerd out about the dialog in the future; there are few things I love more than good writing!

  • Coyote Osborne

    That’s a great last panel.

  • Ryn

    last panel = <3

    hnn, the most badass SV takes the time to offer the hero life advice? Wat'cha up to mister Supervillan?

  • I’ve been reading this since it first started, but up until now, I haven’t known entirely what to say. Everything is done marvelously well, and I’m just as impressed with The Young Protectors as I was with Artifice.

    This page actually makes me smile on a number of levels:

    First, the delicious and ridiculous little laugh The Annihilator did in panel one. I mean, come on – it’s obvious he’s just jerking the kid’s chain at this point. Besides, it’s silly! Who heard of a (and this is going to sound derpy) real supervillain laughing, “Mwa ha ha!”? He’s either making fun of the stereotypical laugh, or just trying to make the kid smile. Maybe both. I dunno.

    Second, the general feel for The Annihilator since the beginning has kind of been… well, a raging dick, if you will pardon the double entendre. He’s been using the kid’s own insecurities against him for amusement, as well as his own pleasure. This softening of character is rather sweet, if a bit startling, but it makes sense as a whole. It’s nice to see a deeper connection form than “You’re questioning, I’m gay, I’m TOTALLY going to take advantage of this.”

    Lastly, it’s nice to see a more human side to superheroes/villains. It’s like reading Spiderman without all the brain-melting puns! 😀

    Thank you once again, Alex. Your work is quite fantastic.

    • Howdy Elizabeth!

      Yep, I think you have a good sense of what The Annihilator was up to with that laugh. 🙂 

      And you’re very welcome! I’m very happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the new comic. Thank you for the kind words!

    • incidentally, Yours, truly, actually would genuinely **Mwa ha ha,** non-ironically, without thinking anything of it. 

      **assumes another classic, super-villainic Cackling Pose**

  • I love this page. The characters seem so deep. Though I’m mildly worried that I’m identifying with The Annihilator in this. The expressions are cute too.

    Wow, four donations already. Didn’t know I’d done that many well only two weeks till my next donation.

    • Yay! Glad to hear you love the new page! Thank you very much for your generous donations—they are very much appreciated.

      (And The Annihilator wanted me to let you know that you are incredibly wise to identify with him—because despite appearances, he is the “real hero” of this story. He then did that laugh of his again…)

  • Lillexe

    “I became the most powerful and feared supervillain on the planet. After that “the gay thing” really didn’t seem to matter so much.” 

    Seems legit. (Always happy for a new and amazing page! Thanks bunches! :D)

  • I love this too much <3 i can't wait until next Saturday ^_^ 

    • You might not have to!  Looks like we may be getting a Wed bonus page if the donation bar is any indicator…

  • Hrilmitzh

    … Fair enough.

  • seekmore

    I wonder if maybe The Annihilator is exaggerating just a bit.

    I mean, certainly, Kyle would have reacted a lot more strongly to him showing up if he were, in fact, “the most powerful and feared supervillain in the world.

    On the other hand, I suppose it does explain the extreme melodrama. Kyle was practically chewing the “set.”

    • Becky

      Wasn’t Kyle’s reaction immediately shooting fire at him? That seems appropriate for super-villain-encounter panic. And his assumption of blackmail makes sense, too.

  • Yup. The Mwa-ha-ha-ilator still has the Macbeth voice in my head. Super excited about the upcoming Wednesday post. :3

    There is part of me that would just love to see this animated.



  • *can’t stop giggling* I love how he actually laughed “Mwa ha ha” … who DOES that in real life? Gay supervillains, that’s who!

  • ManicThrifts

    I’m curious: exactly how old is Anni anyway?

  • Srsly thats how I gonna  solve my problems in the future! If people found out any secrets of mine, I just become a supervillain and everything will be OK! :DDDDDDDD

  • I’ve read and re-read this comic since I discovered it about a week or two ago, and that mwa ha ha is the best thing ever!  It tickled me that Annihilator is an anarchist, but nothing beats this evil laugh, and what he’s laughing about!

  • “I became the most dangerous and feared supervillian on the planet..” jaja, go say him faggot

  • DarkFeanix21

    Evil villain laughs are the best. And also, I approve of Mr. The Annihilator’s method of dealing with “the gay thing”. Clever man.

  • Bwa ha ha? Really? He went there? Oh Annihilator. *shakes head*

  • Ree

    oh my god, annihilator – perfect character is perfect. this comic is far too wonderful for anyone’s good.

  • Red

    My my.. now the advice part…

  • Cricket

    The last two panels convinced me. I am reading this. I dig this. I am riding this one out.

  • camolot the creator

    Whoa. I like this guy.
    He is now one of my favorite villains ever.