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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 26

71 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy—Page 26

I spent literally hours on the dialogue on this page (and the next, which is the final page of the Prologue.) True story. 🙂

Look below! We’re now at $165 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Renee N. (who makes their second donation to The Young Protectors!), Marie G. (who makes their third donation to The Young Protectors!), Caroline O. (who makes their fourth donation to The Young Protectors!) & Vanessa B. (who makes their fifth donation to The Young Protectors!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Olga W., Desiree H., Jonathon B. & Amy R. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of The Young Protectors Arista W. for their super-generous $25 donation!

Thank you all so much! 😀

In other news, there’s a new version of the Disqus commenting system out there. (I use Disqus for the comments on this site.) It has a bunch of cool features, such as real-time updates that let you know about new comments without having to refresh the page, a more sensible threading format that doesn’t shrink threads into spaghetti-thin strands, and a bunch of other nice things. But I’ve chosen not to upgrade yet. Why? Well, in part because I want a little more control over how things look and how comments are sorted by default. But mostly because the new system forces you to include a down vote button for each comment (in addition to an up vote button, of course).


While I can see uses for it, I don’t like the idea of a “Dislike” button for comments. I don’t like the idea of a Dislike button that keeps a running tally of how many folks dislike a comment. And I especially don’t like that these down votes are completely anonymous, which I think leaves the feature open to abuse. But even if it wasn’t abused, I don’t like the tone it would give our comment section. Say what you will about the evils of Facebook, there’s a reason they don’t have a Dislike button. Now, I don’t think that Disqus should get rid of the down vote option for everyone (for some sites, it might be awesome), but I’d like the option to disable it for our community.

When I’ve written Disqus to ask them about making this feature optional, they’ve let me know they don’t have any intention to do that. There are apparently a lot of users who like the ability to down vote other commenters and those are the ones who have been giving Disqus feedback. So if you, like me, think that down voting should be something a moderator (like myself) should be able to optionally disable for their community, please let the folks at Disqus know using this Feedback form. Tell them that you are talking about the “Disqus 2012” upgrade and why you think down voting is something you would not want in your Disqus community. Perhaps include your contact info so they can follow-up with you. If enough folks share how they feel about this, they might just decide to listen.

Whether we succeed or not in this, I imagine at some point I will upgrade to the new system because it is so superior. (If you’d like to see what the new commenting system looks like, take a look at the comments under this blog post.) But, with your help, I’d like to at least try to change their minds on their inflexibility around the down voting option. Thanks!


So! Just one last page of this prologue and then we’re off to Chapter One proper!

This is mostly a silent page. Kyle watches The Annihilator go, touches his lip, looks at his hand… But I bet there’s subtext and stuff. What do you believe Kyle is thinking on this page?

EDIT 7/22/12 6:15 PM: DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Holy cow! Thanks to your stunning generosity, the donation target has just been reached and that means there will be a bonus page this Wednesday, July 25th! It will be page 27, the last page of The Young Protectors Prologue. And that means this Saturday for the regular update I’ll be posting up the first page of Chapter One! Woot! You all ROCK! 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!
  • CommodoreZelda


    I love the vague confusion on Kyle’s face. It’s like he’s not really sure if that actually just happened. I can’t wait for this story to go on!

  • I think he’s saying “Wait… is that jizz? Huh, I guess he DOES have super powers!” XD 

  • Haha. The movie playing: Artifice 2.

  • geneticsgirl

    from the look on his face there are a few options:
    His mouth is numb from making out and he isn’t used to that feeling.
    Anni is a surprisingly sloppy kisser so he had to wipe the drool from his face.
    Kyle didn’t have chewing gum BEFORE the kiss.
    Anni’s kiss was so powerful that it knocked one of Kyle’s teeth out.

    personally, I hope it is the tingly numb mouth.

  • Larne

    The confusion on Kyles Face is just too cute :3

    And my little debate concerning to disqus 2012 has been send. I just hope they will listen… Personally I also dislike the idea of a dislike button. Even if someone posts a poor comment, why need to dislike? I think just ignoring it is enough.

    • Thank you, Larne. I can see some communities where a dislike button would be useful, but for ours, I’d just as soon do without it. I appreciate you taking the time to let them know what you think. 🙂

  • I have a theory that Anni wrote his number on Kyle’s hand and he is like, when did that happen o.O? Anyway I love love love the comic can’t wait to see what happens next

    • Thank you, Roelene. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying The Young Protectors!

  • I think the message might be sinking in.

    Yay anni. Doing good in the world.

    Not too shabby for a supervillian no?

  • I see what you did there in panel one. Nice plug for Artifice! XD

    It’s simple, to the point, and Kyle’s “huh” at the end is perfect. It’s that “I can’t believe this right now so I have nothing to say” moment. Believe it Kyle…it happened. You can stop touching your lips now…or keep touching them if you can’t stop thinking about what just happened. lol

    Can’t wait for the next page. 🙂 I am on board to see where this GOES!

  •  Confused hero is confused.  And did I see “Artifice 2” in that theater title? You’d better make this a reality, Alex, or I’ll send the Annihilator after you! 

    …that may not have been as much of a threat as incentive not to…

    But auuuugh!  I can’t believe Artifice is over.  Not that I mind this or anything, because, damn, Anni is hot.  And I can’t wait to see what happens now that he’s left.  And how Kyle reacts.  Maybe he’ll fall for Anni, that’d make a really interesting plot, falling for the villian >:D

    Also, I had this thought.  I wondered… if… maybe, do we disappoint you?  I mean, you make awesome gay superhero webcomics and most of us are females.  I mean, some of us are gay females, but we’re not all the intended target audience.  And I know we appreciate gay superheros.  But I wonder if we ever let you down.  Or if those of us that you do get, lesbians, gay men, bi women, and the straight yaoi fangirls make it worth it?

    • That’s an interesting (and bit surprising) question, Nan (Deanna). I see my intended audience as people of all genders and sexual orientations who enjoy thoughtful genre stories with gay heroes and romance. I love the readers who follow my comics and the community we’ve formed here. And I love that the readership seems so diverse! I take that as a huge compliment, actually. 

      So, in no way do our readers let me down. We have a great community that’s formed here of thoughtful, upbeat and enthusiastic people. I feel very lucky, actually. And it is this readership and the interest they have taken in these stories that makes all the hard work totally worth it to me. 🙂

      • Alex,I like this story more each time I read the next page (so sorry I have no money to donate) but I will say that I cannot see my ultra straight gay hating older brother getting anythng out of this story. For me there have been a great number of reminders from my past that none of my straight friends could ever understand…thank you from the bottom of my heart.

        • Hey Wayne, 

          I hear you. And I’m glad that you’re finding things you’re connecting with in The Young Protectors. I am aware that the subject matter might be less mainstream-y than Artifice—and that is something I think about from time-to-time and wonder if the audience appeal will broaden as the story continues.  But for now, I’m very glad that it has appealed to the number of folks it already has. And that folks like yourself are finding things they can relate to. 🙂

      •  Oh my God.  I just started crying, really, truly, crying.  You are so, so sweet, Alex!  And for some reason, this made me feel really special and good inside, even though you’re definitely the more special one, going out and making comics and being proud and everything! 

  • Becky

    I believe that Kyle is thinking, “…huh.”
    So, perfect dialogue choice, Alex. 🙂

  • Kyle: did those last minutes actually happen?

    *lol* I see what you did there with the title of movie 🙂
    And I’m sure those two will meet again in more than one occation.

    About the new Disqus system. I couldn’t agree more. They had a half day test period on it on Teahouse comic and it was halfway chaos.
    I 100% agree about the dislike button and will give them feedback about that. But also – unless they got it corrected within the last month – there’s also some glitches/stuff missing or features that’s sorta confusing with the new system still. I HAS potential but but not until the glitches are fixed and there’s options to the like/dislike system. On comics and such where the comments are MANY it has the potential of being abused.

  • Wow, a number of readers actually missed the “Artifice 2” on the first few pages! Haha. It’s a sweet easter egg. GOSH. I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE REAL MEAT OF THE PLOT.

  • krissdevalnor

    excellent page. He is letting it all sink in. Even though he is a superhero the last 5 mins (or more – depending on how long that kiss took XD) must feel VERY surreal.

    Looking forward to next page 🙂 as always

    • krissdevalnor

      oh and by the way: the thing about me not liking superhero-comics – forget I ever wrote that! I am so hooked on this series! 😀

  • Plum Soda

    Wow, this page is literally Kyle going “Okay, what the hell?” and in panel five, he’s suddenly like “Well, that wasn’t so bad… I guess…”

     I love your concept, by the way! There’s far too little straight gay stories out there (like, really!!!). Be sure to have me stickin’ around 🙂

    As for the dislike button, I totally agree. Though I think that this community is quite respectful with each other (from what I’ve read so far you are all awesome 🙂 ), I don’t like the general idea of anonymously ‘downvoting’ comments. There is absolutely no need for that. There is always the possibility to tell somebody that you do not agree (in a friendly way, that is!). Disqussing is half the fun of commenting, isn’t it?

    • Thank you, PlumSoda! I’m glad you’re liking what I’m trying to do here. 🙂

  • Rex Justrex

    A remembered touch and maybe even a lingering scent on his skin.  And now we have a deeply conflicted young man who is in serious need of some time to think.

    And maybe some serious time under the covers, as well. (grin)

    Love this story, Alex.  Can’t wait for more.

  • Yukiness

    I love the Artifice 2 on the marque. What would be even more awesome is if someone was reading a copy of it in the background of a future scene or if KittyKat had it stashed under his bed/under his pillow. That would be so nice.

    Kyle’s reaction is no different than mine when I first got asked out. I love his “WTF, did that just actually happen? This is a dream right? No, that felt to damn good. Oh my-OMG!” face. And the first two panels really make me wonder what Anni’s powers are. Maybe it’s not jut speed as you would need a ton of leg power to pounce from building to building like that. Perhapse his power is like acceration in that everything about him is pretty much normal just times 20 or so. It is all speculation for me at this point. As always, I can’t wait to see what you pull out of the fun and sexy story telling hat next Alex.

    • Hehe. I love your being-asked-out story, Yukiness. Glad to hear you’re looking forward to what happens next!

  • Brilliant page! I think Kyle has a case of lip burn, he’s never been kissed before and it has just hit him that he has spent the last few minutes with the man who should be his arch-enemy, who he should have tried to arrest/capture/kill depending on the YP’s code of conduct when meeting a supervillian, and he [Kyle] is still alive.

    Anni is the most powerful supervillian on the planet, he should have killed Kyle, not manipulated him into a kiss. And I am thinking that maybe Kyle is thinking all this and wondering if what he’s been told is just propaganda. I think mind = blown

    I can’t wait for chapter one to start properly.

  • fujoshifanatic


    Beautiful way to frame such a life-changing moment for young Kyle. I could go into quite the treatise over what is flitting through his mind,  but sometimes you don’t need a lot of words to make an impact, much like poetry. In fact I dare say this page is poetic, each panel doing its part to portray this scene to maximum effect, including the perfect amount of dialogue at the end. 🙂

    Whatever Kyle is thinking, I know he won’t ever forget that day, on so many levels. Thank you for letting me share in that experience so fully through your vivid, thoughtful storytelling Alex. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome, fujoshifanatic. Thank you for the kind words!

  • Dracon Ra

    The poor kid, his world was probably all black and
    white, Superheros = good, Supervillians = evil. And now he not just had a nice
    chat with a bad guy, getting some really good advice and seeing his human and
    vulnerable side (Page 22), he even got his first kiss from someone who should
    be his enemy. And it was good, too 😉


    Really mind blowing 😉

  • I need a shirtless shower scene STAT!  (LOL)  Cute kid, I wonder who he works with/for…

    • Dracon Ra

      Damned, know I have this Image in my mind of young Kyle in the shower, remembering his first kiss, how horny it made him…. 😉

  • tenuousTilli

    I believe Kyle found makeup or something like that on his hand. The Annihilator said he was in the bar, yet it seems unlikely he was dressed in his bad guy gear.  —
    Or Anni is just that quick and wrote a phonenumber on K’s palm for when Kyle decides he wants another kiss =)

  • YangYueLan

    Hehe, Artafice 2 (hope I spelled that right). 

    (normally posts under YangYueLan, currently unable to do to traveling and not having the right passwords) or it suddenly decided to work, who knows what is going on.

  • Aww! Loving how he touches his lip like it’s still tingling. Utterly precious. Last panel revealing how young he is – the wide eyes, the mouth open with a sense of wonder. Loving it. 

  • Calvin Angot

    I’m beating myself up for not commenting on this until now, when I was following Artifice so closely :/

    But, I’m here to say that I have rather high hopes for this one! If Artifice was any indication, this one’ll be awesome. I’m standing around and rooting for you guys, keep up the good work for providing us rabid fans with something to sooth ‘that itch’, haha!

    Oh, and by the way, I made a fan art piece for TYP. Not very good, I’d be the first to admit that (I’m only starting to learn the ropes), but I wanted to show my appreciation for your efforts in something more tangible than a comment.
    TYP fanart link:


    • Thank you for making this, Calvin! 🙂 Can I post it up on the site’s fan art page? And if so, how would you like to be credited?

      • Calvin Angot

        Huh, I didn’t know TYP already had a fan art page (was the fan art page for Artifice entirely separate?), but sure! I honestly didn’t think this would get much attention, given how fast responses are posted.

        I don’t really mind if I get credited or not, I only did this on a lark. Figured it was the least I could do to express my appreciation for the dedication that went into your webcomics.


        • Cool. So I’ll post it up with the next update and unless I hear different I will credit it to your dA name “jinvonoe”.

          Thanks again! 🙂

          (Oh, and if you don’t mind, please include the credit information on the dA art page that I ask for on the bottom of my FAQ page. That way the original artists will get the credit they deserve. Thanks! :D)

  • Happy to continue on with the story but I don’t really have much to say about the page except that it looks great as always thanks to Adam and Veronica.

    As for the up/down voting thing on the comments…the Disqus people are being supremely stupid about it. Just because there are people that like/benefit from a comment voting system doesn’t mean it can’t be optional! Wow, how’d that obviousness get by them? Optional just means that the people that like it and want to use it CAN, and the people that have no need for it, DON’T HAVE TO. I hope they can eventually be persuaded to see reason. I saw another commenter here point out how great the community here and I agree. People here discuss things respectfully. Personally, I think the up/down feature would tend to discourage actual discussion since it’s easy to just click a button versus typing out a tl;dr like I just did. 

  • Looks to me like Kyle is thinking about what Annihilator’s told him, and deciding how he feels about it, Annihilator, and that kiss.  :3

  • b3nc0

    Let me guess, the hours on dialogue were to choose the panel casting the ‘Huh.’ & wether to end it with a ‘.’, a ‘!’ or a ‘?’ ¦°.9

    I wanna go & see ‘ARTIFICE 2’ ;A;

    Nice departure, Parkourman! Kyle glassy look is ad♥rable…

    About the dislike button, I feedbacked (?) to them & only after remembered I used it once on another comic, it effectively started something of a croisade but a mute one, the dislikes added to the dislikes without proper reply m(__)m

  • I don’t even see a “dislike” button.

    • b3nc0

      Coz it’s still the former system, Alex explains it all…

  • Midwestmutt

    Ah, that eye-opening moment when you realize the world is not what you have always been told.

  • Bianca Simone

    He’s probably thinking to himself, “At least I don’t have to exfoliate my lips tonight… maybe I should do that kissing thing more often!”

    I only say this because I hear that kissing keeps the lips moist and voluptuous 😉

  • ::giggling:: He so TOTALLY checking out Annihilator’s heinder as he hops off… and in the background you can hear, softly playing “Tonight, Tonight” from West Side Story … thank you Alex for a lovely page 😀

  • I… I do think… yeah… I might actually like him.

  • Uh oh… This sounds like a fanfic I was working on. XD I can’t wait to see where it goes. >w<

  • Artifice 2! I hope it to be a reality one day. 

    I love the body language in this it says so much.

  • Annihilator could make a good anti-hero type by just taking a no-kill oath and restricting his thefts to other criminals as victims… He’s certainly got an ‘in’ to the hero club now!

  • Sarah Trotter

    So this donation pool… I noticed it reset back to 0. Is is a rolling sort of deal? Every time $400 is reached an extra page is published?

    Man if it is, you are going to be the cause of many poor people!

    • Yep, once the donation target is reached, the bar is reset and donations go to the next bonus page. So yes, every time $400 is reached an extra page is published the following Wednesday. 🙂

    • iTVXQ

      Yes. Each time it reaches 400, we get an extra page 😀

  • Woop just figured out how all this DISQUS account doomahikies work!

    Now I can comment, review and follow all the goings on properly ^^

    Now about these donations……… :p~PyroXan

  • VanQuinn

    DINGDINGDING I can’t wait till Wednesday!

  • hmm..

    ..what did anni leave on kyle’s lips?

    and how will kyle expect to have any chance at all in defeating anni when kyle can’t even leap a regular picket-fence in one bound?

    kyle wouldn’t even be able to leave an energy trail that always, conveniently, obscures just part of alex’s next project.

    (hey i wonder what kind of magic series combo does Anni have?)

  • espoirepourmesreves

    The “Huh” here could mean any number of things xD Can’t wait for wednesday for the last page!!! 😀

  • Blackribboncat

    I am so in love with this comic already.
    I have no idea if this pairing will be the main one, but if it is, I am MORE
    than happy with it! Not only is the pairing hot, but the characters seem to complement each other very well (Plus, no pairing could ever measure up to a hero/villain pairing)

    The age difference does not matter much to me, in fact, I think it makes it interesting. I adore the Annihilator. He is such a deep and complex character: The bad guy, and yet there seems to be so much good in him.

    I can hardly wait to see how this comic progresses. It may possibly be one of my favorite comics already: And the Prologue hasn’t even ended yet!

    Thank you for creating this wonderful, marvelous comic.

  • Crap – I just realised it’s Tuesday. Not Wednesday…

    •  I know, right.  LIFE IS HARD SO LET’S HAVE WEDNESDAY. 

  • I like what i’m seeing, “Now showing Artifice 2” lol. DO WANT!

  • Ryn


    i now have the urge to see Annihilator in Mario cosplay and jumping mushrooms.

  • J D P Heal

    why do i get the feeling ive never commented her @_@ i have been coming here and reading since about a third of the way into artifice. I admire the work you guys put into the pages and how you care about the readers. ive noticed this is a fairly common trend with web comics and their writers. i must say i am loving young protectors so far and am looking foreward to seeing what happens with the story as we transition to the first chapter.

  • i feel like Anni put something on his mouth to track him down or something

  • And let that be a lesson to you, Kyle, in judging books by their extremely well-endowed covers…