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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Truth or Dare—Page 13

288 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Truth or Dare—Page 13

Good golly. The red word balloon. So, how do you really feel about what Mitch is doing, Gordon?

I have some sad news to report. A special member of our community here, Anne Staszalek, passed away on May 2, 2015. Her wife sent me an email to let me know. She’s given me permission to share that here and also to share how much Anne loved chatting with y’all in the Comments Section. I really enjoyed chatting with Anne myself and she will be missed. Please join me in keeping her and her wife in your thoughts.

In some brighter news, Julie Wright, the artist for this special bonus comic, has launched a Kickstarter for her graphic novel Riven Seal Vol. 1. I’m a backer and you should definitely check it out. Looks like more great work from Julie, this time partnered with Amanda Gomes. 🙂

We’re now at $8236/month over at the Patreon Page which means we’re less than $15/month away from unlocking the special background for Marccus’ Full Monty Tsunami painting. And folks still have one more day (until May 30th) to pledge $10 or more to get sent high-res files for Full Monty Tsunami (over white), Full Monty Annihilator (over black), and Full Monty Annihilator with its unlocked background after their payments are processed. You could be the Patron who tips us over the top for that unlocked background Milestone Goal (which is totally worth it, trust me). If that sounds appealing to you, please take a look at my Patreon Page and consider being a Patron.

So! Mitch is out there in the world, fighting muggers “and stuff.”  What’s that about? And how will the rest of the team react to this news?

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

  • davefragments

    Leave it to Tsunami to yell.
    That’s not the best thing to do.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      True, but in this case I think it’s just because he’s worried about Mitch’s safety. (Also, congrats!)

      • davefragments

        Thanks and hi

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Hi!

    • dee gee

      Congrats Dave.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Nice. First post! Well snagged lightening Dave.

  • Tsunami… I’m so disappointed in you.

    • davefragments

      you know what they say about teenagers – – you know when they are lying is when their lips move!

      • Ha!

      • Jamie

        So, in other words, they lie all the time?

        • davefragments

          That’s the way the joke goes.
          In some cases, parents have informed me that they believe nothing from their teenage children and usually they are right to do so. I just smile.
          When I’ve had to watch over teens, I just tell them what I want and don’t give them the chance to lie to me.
          wink, wink

          • Tyler Griffin

            I’ve always found that that is a very effective methode of dealing with teens, and even younger kids. Clearly expressed Expectations, and then treat them with enough respect and personal space required to give the impression that you trust their competence and it’s magic what you can get from them, actually, that’s pretty good method of dealing with people in general.

          • davefragments

            I was once off with a bunch of kids at a competition (lots of other adults with the gang too) and they sat down for lunch with me and informed me that I was going to buy them beer because I drank wine and they knew it. I laughed at them and told them I had their number. No beer. No nothing their parents wouldn’t approve to my face (not to mention the other chaperones and teachers and advisers. They didn’t like that but they didn’t ask again.

          • Jamie

            Ah, yeah. I understood the joke. I was adding to it by saying that teens seem to never stop talking. xD

            Ha, good one. Don’t let them boss you around!

          • davefragments

            You can’t let your guard down with teens.
            And yes, they never stop talking to each other. That’s what twitter and text-messaging is all about. It’s the adolescent urge to blurt, babble and yak.
            Sigh, what would we do without them?

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Hi AJ!

      Well, at least in this instance he’s being a jerk out of caring a lot rather than out of prejudice.

      • Hi Stick!!

        I just sometimes wonder about that boy. His over caution is a bit wearing.

        And this tendency to yell is just one more reason people don’t invite him to their parties. 😐

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Although all of the yelling practice does mean that he can do some great karaoke versions of various punk and metal songs. So he gets to come along for karaoke night.

          • So long as all of his grump goes into the music. 🙂

      • I’m starting to wonder if Tsu isn’t worried more about appearances than doing what’s right. He’s wigged out about Kyle being gay (OMG, what if they find out), he was freaked about the guys being in on the operation, he’s having a hissy over Mitch fighting crime… I’m not saying that there isn’t anything wrong with that (there’s a lot wrong with that), but it is a different way to look at it.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          I’m not so sure that I agree. I think that what matters most to Tsunami is the safety of the team (he says exactly that on page 42 of chapter 3). Yes, he has definitely handled the revelations about Kyle poorly, but his main objection to having the younger team members in combat was that they hadn’t been properly trained for it yet and that Paul and Mitch are still minors (see Ch. 3 page 43).

          On this page, the thing he seems to be angriest about is the fact that Mitch could get killed by doing what he’s been doing – and that is a very real risk. Mitch isn’t invulnerable, and he’s been going out without any backup. My read here was definitely that he’s upset about Mitch putting himself in danger, not about how it would look to others.

          • But is it upset that Mitch could get killed or more the repercussions to the team if that were to happen? I guess for me I’m having a hard time reading his true intentions.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            I’ve personally gotten the sense that Gordon thinks of Mitch as a sort of little brother (he has that sort of protective vibe to me), but I guess we’ll have to wait until we see more to be certain.

          • That or he just takes it way too seriously. As a “brother” I’d think it might go a little differently. But you’re right, we’ll see. 🙂

          • I think it’s both. He’s very big-brotherly and caring, but maybe also because he’s one of Mitch’s guardians.
            Young Protectors is a team that’s being allowed to help – the rejects – and if one of them starts breaking the rules so clearly, it might reflect a consequence on all of them.

          • Quite possibly. But I do think he needs to maybe remove that stick he has far planted in his ass. Just a smidgen. 🙂

          • Tyler Griffin

            He definitely meets the CornCobb requirement for being a Paladin

          • Oh? Paladins are that uptight?

          • Tyler Griffin

            SOmehow, every player I have EVER run with, or DM’ed for who played a Paladin took the “Corncob up the Ass” starting feat.

          • A shame.

          • Tyler Griffin

            I know, I’m always like, “Hello, you are SUPPOSED to be an embodiment of your diety’s Heavenly Host, not their Holly Terror”

          • EyeDontNo

            Is that a stick in his ass or Stickfigurefairytales ON his ass?

        • Klaus
  • DC

    Mitch a true superhero, even if going against the rules.

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Big Brother Tsu is not happy.

  • DarkJokerOfAmuro

    Tsunami Calm Your Tits!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Wow, another early page – I’ve got to start coming by for camping at least an hour earlier than I have been!

  • stickfigurefairytales

    Mitch is Superman. Except not bulletproof. Hmm, okay, I can see where Tsumani’s coming from now…

  • Sapfo

    I am so sorry to hear about Anne . My toughts are with her family ❤️

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Oh my goodness, me too. I’ll be keeping her wife in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Yes, my condoplences to Anne’s wife as well as her family.

    • Jeldenil

      I wish to express my condolences too. Love to her wife and family.

    • Very sad to hear about Anne. We will miss her.

      Her wife and family are in my thoughts.

    • purplefoxglove

      Anne’s wife and family have my heartfelt condolences, too. She will be missed. It’s an honour that her wife wanted us to know.

  • TwilightDreamer

    rofl!!! whoops XD probably shouldn’t have sat next to Tsunami if you were going to say that Mitch :P…. dawww….seriously, just how lovable can that boy get? :3

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Isn’t he the most precious? His darkest secret is that he has been illegally HELPING PEOPLE. Gah!

      • Michael

        At least it isn’t that he’s been sneaking out to comfort the lonely unwanted puppies at the shelter. I think everyone here would vomit rainbows and cry glitter if that were the case.

      • Michael

        At least it isn’t that he’s been sneaking out to comfort the lonely unwanted puppies at the shelter. I think everyone here would vomit rainbows and cry glitter if that were the case.

      • TwilightDreamer

        He’s so cute, you just have to squeal! XD <3

  • Oh-ooh! Mitch, you naughty boy, Amanda is not pleased, but I’m pretty sure he knew exactly how Tsunami’s reaction would be. It is expected, but I think it’s Amanda’s reaction that will sting the most.
    I really hope that next morning each of them might have an idea of what they could have told during the previous night.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I just hope Amanda doesn’t go the “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” route.

      • Michael

        She totally will. She’s the Commander, not some hot-headed footsoldier.

  • Marie
    • You said Mitch was doing off-hours stuff due to an illicit affair. What about the illicit affair? I want to hear about his illicit affair!

      • Marie

        I meant it could be either or both, but let’s just assume that it’s going to be both as of wednesday. If it’s not stated, clearly he’s just good at secrets.

        • I joke, Marie! Although, I would love to know if there is an illicit affair. Wouldn’t it flip Kyle’s wig to find out that not only was Mitch gay but he was sexually active?

          “Hello! Grindr, DUH!”

          Disclaimer: The author of this comment does not support nor condone sexual activity by or with minors. This comment is offered for the sake of ironic humor.

  • Ikea Monkey

    I thought Mitch was going to come out as gay. I would have liked that 🙂

    • Yes. But we’ve seen that before in this comic and relatively recently. 🙂

      I imagine it will come up again, though. 😉

      • Darn your teaser comments that can be interpreted more than one way xD Tricksy Alex.

      • Ikea Monkey

        Did he come out to everyone? I just remember to Kyle.

        • Klaus

          Just Kyle.

  • SofiaT

    Goodbye, Anne. Have a good trip. 🙁

    To her wife and family, my deepest condolences. I
    So sorry for your loss. xx

  • timemonkey

    Oh yeah, totally called it!

  • My deepest sympathies to Anne’s wife and family.

  • Mary Klemzak

    Wait. Hold it. What persona did Anne have? Sorry to hear.

    No offense but I skip the annoying news about patreon things.Specially if someone in the community has died. Its inappropriate. Whatever though.

    Only the first and last statements are really what I’m interested in. Like about the comic. I’ll probably get lots of flack for saying, but I don’t care.

    Rant over. Now about precious Mitch. Way to go. Yes it’s dumb but you do dumb stuff when you’re young. Just take a buddy next time. Mr Grumpy is responsible, and concerned. Take him. If he’s available.

    • She used the name A. Staszalek, but hasn’t commented for a while. She still followed the comic and comments.

  • Jamie

    I have a question, so I know when to check back in. When do you usually upload pages?

    also, I am really sorry to hear about Anne…. 🙁 Though I never talked to her, am sure she was fun to have around. rest in peace.

    • Usually pages seem to upload between 8 and 10pm on Tuesday and Friday (US pacific time)

  • Gregg Hierholzer

    I thought it would be better to start a Kickstarter for Anne and send it too her it to her partner on behalf of all of us here. we are a Community aren’t we. Shouldn’t we support one another?

    Just a thought.

    • Sapfo

      But how and it what mannar?
      There where a go found page for her.

      • Gregg Hierholzer

        I started a page. I will send the money or have Alex send the money whatever we raise to her family. At the Anne Staszalek Memorial Page

        http://www.gofundme.com/vttm69s

    • You mean a fund-collection. A kickstarter usually involves funding a product.

  • Rest in peace, Anne. To Anne’s wife: I’m so sorry for your loss 🙁

  • kamishiro

    OHHH MY BABY BOY !! I love how he wants to help people to that extent.

    But i do get Tsunami’s reaction. Like he said before he and Amanda are their legal guardian’s. And Tsunami really takes up to the ” father angry ” role well on the team. Mitch is barely 15 in this case, probably still 14. I would be pissed as hell if i was Amanda or Tsunami. It’s nice to remember that even thought Mitch can be really mature he IS still a kid.

    • Michael

      Agreed, I think that Gordon, having adopted the ‘big brother’ role for Mitch and the rest of the guys, is reacting in a completely understandable way. In some ways, it’s nice to know that he cares so much. He’s not all hardened soldier and mission-is-first-priority, he’s got a heart in there and it is deeply concerned for the safety of his adopted kid brother.

      • kamishiro

        The team is family 🙂

    • Michael

      Agreed, I think that Gordon, having adopted the ‘big brother’ role for Mitch and the rest of the guys, is reacting in a completely understandable way. In some ways, it’s nice to know that he cares so much. He’s not all hardened soldier and mission-is-first-priority, he’s got a heart in there and it is deeply concerned for the safety of his adopted kid brother.

  • Wohoo! Another milestone reached on Patreon 🙂

  • Terri Sutton

    I wish to offer my sympathies to A. Staszalek’s spouse.

  • That Guy

    RIP Anne, may your loved ones find peace in their hearts.

  • Megan Staples

    I’m getting SICK of Tsunami shouting at Flyboy. Amanda should take sole custody of him and make Tsunami’s opinions on Flyboy irrelevant. Why would I do that? Tsunami has a hard enough time with Kyle being gay, when he finds out that Mitch is too he’s gonna ex-fucking-splode. I hope Mitch admits it to Amanda in private.
    The community will miss Anne a lot.

  • Cman65

    and you save any body you can too, not just hot guys. SURE!

  • Klaus

    Several commenters have called Tsunami Grumpy. Now, obviously Spooky is Happy and Flyboy is Bashful. But who are the others?

    • Michael

      Paul is Dopey, duh.

    • Connor

      Amanda is Doc.

    • Kyle must be Sneezy then.

  • Soirbleu

    So sorry to hear about this tragic loss. That’s just terrible. My deepest regards and sympathy to her wife as well. Sending good thoughts and hugs.

  • Gregg Hierholzer

    Anne Staszalek Memorial Page

    http://www.gofundme.com/vttm69s

  • Mikki

    My condolences as well…

    On a side note:
    I know this is based before the main story, but I just noticed that everyone’s uniform in this mini story is the same as in the main, except Kyle’s. He has a red leg and a white one here, but in the main story they’re both red…? (One completely the other one is like 50/50 red and white, but in the mini story it’s all white) I would think that if he changed his uniform then some of the others would have as well, and his uniform is otherwise the same as in the main story, except for that leg. Thoughts?

  • Klaus

    Search and rescue is obviously better with a team and extra help, he says. Fighting crime is not?

  • Dave Nguyen

    Can you really say “You’re Grounded” to fly boy?

    • dee gee

      U can say it but it doesn’t carry the same weight. Ha!

      • MirrorMan

        Heavy….

    • timemonkey

      Nope, because they won’t remember.

  • Michael

    Oh, Mitch… that’s a face that countless teenagers have worn before you.

    If they weren’t going to forget this after the curse ends, I’d expect Mitch to be figuratively (if not literally) leached and collared until he’s 18.

    At the very least, he’d have to do the team’s laundry for the next few months as punishment.

    • bandanajack

      i hope you meant LEASHED, and i suspect even that falls under an as yet unexplored subset of our kinks.

      and having assisted a number of young men live long enough to make it to manhood, and even parenthood in AA, i fully understand tsunami’s concern for the youngest member. he may not express it the best way, but he is clearly coming from a place of love…

      • Michael

        yes, that is what I meant. Leashed and collared, meaning under supervision and restricted movement.

        I can understand his concern too, because that’s an extremely dumb thing to do by himself. Noble, but stupid. Even trained and armed police offers patrol in pairs.

  • Michael

    Deepest condolences to Anne’s family and friends, and especially her wife. I hope they are able to find some peace after such a tragic loss.

  • Phyre Storm

    Oh, stuff it, Gordon. Do you EVER say anything useful?

    I have no idea who Anne was, but my sincere sympathy to her friends and family.

  • dee gee

    Poor Mitch is sweating under tsus fussing attack. This reminds me of my oldest sis doing me the same way. I’m upset I slept thru camp. I hope I make it next page.

  • Nate

    While my esteemed colleague Doki may have seniority here, I really want to give Mitch a hug right now…

    And Gordon a Gibbs-slap.

    • You have my permission, but I get to do both first. ^_^

      • Can I Gibbs smack him too? Tsunami is a big guy, he requires several Gibbs smacks at least to get through his thick skull.

      • Nate

        Deal. =)

  • Stubbylegs

    Gordo’s just jealous because Mitch has bigger balls than he does.

    • I don’t fault Gordon. He is a soldier doing his best to fight the good fight, survive his tour, and go home. He sees Mitch sneaking out to take on the enemy by himself, possibly facing IEDs and overwhelming numbers without backup. That is nuts in the real world. It is how you get reprimanded in the service, sent for psychiatric eval, and busted in rank. Gordon is trying to grab his younger buddy before he does something stupid.

      That said when one is able to go out and take on those numbers of enemy, save lives of his fellow soldiers, and perhaps end the conflict early, there is a powerful ethical responsibility to do it. Superheroes walk alone. They have to. They can go where no one else can go.

  • Jeldenil

    Papa bear Tsunami. I don’t see him as being obnoxious here. He’s concerned and expresses it in the only way he knows. Yes, he’s overbearing and comes across as mad/agressive, but I think he means well, and is sincerely worried about Mitch’ safety. As a parent, I know how hard it can be to always stay calm and understanding, especially when little kids do things like run off the sidewalk randomly. This feels a bit like that.

    • It seems a bit odd that a fellow superhero comes down on another for doing what they do. That is if that is what they do. What if it isn’t? What if the only thing that separates them from ordinary search and rescue is powers? I find that concept sad. Superheroes who play by the rules, who won’t buck the system in order to help others don’t strike me as very superheroic. Perhaps that is my issue from Tsunami from the beginning?

      His is the attitude of a normal, real-world person. He is clearly brave, he obviously places his life in danger for others but apparently there is a line he won’t cross. He strikes me as like Pvt. Hudson, the young marine from “Aliens.”

      Hudson was clearly brave. He participated in combat and did his part but when things went off-script he flaked out. “Game over, man! Game over!” Did this make Hudson “bad” or “cowardly”? No, and his buddies never faulted him beyond when they needed him to get a grip. He was simply in over his head. This, in my mind, is what sets heroes apart from superheroes.

      Superheroes in my mind take things to a level the rest of us cannot handle or imagine. They get in the cargo walker and challenge the queen alien, “get away from her, you BITCH!”

      Taking on the alien queen in a cargo loader is patently insane and yet, it is necessary. I see this and I feel inspired. I want to cheer. That to me is a superhero. Mitch wants to take things to that level. He has it in him and yet his fellows point out, rightly how insane it is to go there. This is why I cheer for Mitch.

  • Klaus

    I must admit that I do not remember A Staszalek. Even so, I am sad to hear of her passing. A stark reminder that our virtual friends here are real people, vulnerable to the same dangers that threaten those we meet in real life.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    I was not expecting that. I was more-or-less expecting that someone had gotten hurt as a result of Flyboy’s extramural activities (and to be fair, that’s still a possibility I suppose, although no longer the point of revelation).

    Well, I think at this point Commander takes the suggestion that Chris Dangerfield made on the previous comments page, and surreptitiously write a small note to herself.

    Meanwhile… Well, I can’t say this without sounding snarky, so I’m not going to bother. Remember just before the fight on chap.3 p.87 when Red Hot told Fluke that: “Turns out [Flyboy’s] a lot braver than me, actually.” Damn straight he is, Red. Turns out he’s a heck of a lot braver than a lot of the team. Spooky is so relaxed about his sexuality that he’s perfectly happy to distract everyone else with the revelation that he sleeps under the sheets with a team mate, even though it severely embarrasses that team mate, and that distraction means everyone respects Spooky’s request to avoid questions about the more-painful-to-Spooky topic of his time in Hell. Red Hot squirms and prevaricates, squeaking by under the terms of the curse with a bare minimum of information. The Commander, despite the fact that she’s in the position of authority, has to be cajoled by Spooky into answering a question by reassurances that she’s fearless and can handle it. Whereupon Flyboy, youngest team member and the one with the least amount of authority (and in some instances, respect) comes straight out and says something that he knows will cause Tsunami to get in his face.

    [Expletive deleted] yeah, he’s braver than you.

    [Fumes] Excuse me a moment. I seem to have worked myself into a cranky attack. I’m just going to buy some chocolate as comfort food.

    • Klaus

      For anyone to take notes would be a serious breach of trust. I don’t think she would allow it, much less consider doing it herself.

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Thinking about it, yes, I agree that it would be a breach of trust. That doesn’t mean she, or any of the others, wouldn’t do it if they seriously thought it would have save Flyboy from over-reaching himself and getting hurt. It’s one of those “what’s the greater good?” ethical dilemmas. And if that’s what’s happening here, I think it’s telling that while Tsunami immediately goes into shouty mode, Commander is instead asking for more information so that she can properly assess the situation.

  • ZephialHyena

    Least he’s doing something. Love it. :3

  • Toli Bera

    Aww TeamDad is so mad D: *puts Mitch on a high shelf to protect him*

  • I just realized we’re now halfway through this bonus comic. From the first half of the comic, we know how much can happen on 12-13 page.. oooh-wee, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride with the last half xD

    • Maybe Mitch will ask Gordon about the Diary Queen incident and we get a flashback?

  • fujoshifanatic

    My condolences to Anne and her family. May Anne be in a better place, and her family find solace in their time of grieving.

    Oh Mitch! Your confession was as cute as I expected. I think I even giggled when I read the first panel. This is like your kid confessing to you that they were taking money from your purse…to give it to the poor kid at school so he can buy lunch. Sure it’s misguided and wrong, but you can’t help but look at the intentions behind the actions and just melt. Hopefully Gordon and his red bubble of rage will calm down enough to deal with Mitch in an appropriatel manner. :-/

  • jreed3842

    My deepest condolences to Anne and her loved ones. *Brings everyone in for a group hug* I’m sending my thoughts and prayers!

  • Pikinanou

    I like Mitch’s face, when he says “I fight crime” it’s so grimm and superhero-ish… then I see his sweating face when Gordon scolds him and I can’t help laughing XD
    On another note, my sincerest sympathies to Anne’s wife and family. May she rest in peace.

  • YG_Frenchie

    I love how Spooky is still touching Kyles skin. I’d be so happy if I was Kyle. Snuggly time!

  • Klaus

    How many red word balloons have we had? I am pretty sure that this http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-int1-page-13/ was the first, but I think there have been one or two others.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      There was this classic of Sircea’s (last panel) … This was a case where I did feel the dialog itself ‘called out’ for a red word balloon, so I gave it a thumb’s up! 😀

      http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/typ/ete-ch3-page-102/

      However we know the peril that an over reliance on red word balloons can bring.

      Klaus, with your mad analysis skillz … perhaps you could generate a graph showing us AW’s red word balloon usage. Thus we could make sure he’s not falling on lazy dramaturgical methods becoming addicted to a reliance on color in word balloons to communicate essential dramatic moments.

      HEY! It’s strictly for his own well-being. If we see a growing pattern of addiction, then a bunch of us can get an intervention together and pop over to the Yaoi911 offices and save him (I have the rhino tranquilizers here somewhere).

      We all know that colored word balloons are like Comic Creator Crack. Once they get used, it’s an ever increasing descent into madness and dramatic excess.

      Thanks for the ALERT Klaus! I think we’re in time to save AW 😀

      • Klaus

        I think it is just the three. Until page 102, I was in doubt whether the red balloon represented Comander using her powers to add a little oomph to her statement.

  • I look at this page like how a dog might tilt its head at a dog whistle. It does not compute. Someone divided the universe by zero. Tsunami’s reaction strikes me as exactly that of someone with the attitude of “let proper authorities handle crime and emergencies! You could get hurt or killed. Worse, you could get someone else hurt!”

    Disclaimer: in real life I wholeheartedly support this notion. Leave rescues and crime fighting to the professionals. In comic books, it is rather normal for superheroes to go out knocking heads of bad guys to make their neighborhoods safer. They have powers and abilities that give them an extra edge against nefarious do-baddies. It is an interesting concept to explore–what if superheroes came out in a real world environment where their amazing powers really didn’t matter? They were still but inexperienced schmoes facing danger without any backup or proper training.

    Strange then that Flyboy receives training. We’ve seen it in the strip. He receives combat training, search and rescue training, and undoubtedly he is trained how to interact with civil authorities and the civilian population. The question remains, if a superhero receives proper training and there is clear and present need for his services, aka “high crime” then what is the problem? That leads me back to “does not compute.”

    There is a kind of insanity that is typically assumed in costumed vigilantes, both heroic and villainous. It’s a daredevil willingness to jump into the face of danger. Heroes do it for the sake of helping others. Villains for fun and profit. Batman’s story explores this behavior in great detail. It appears the world of YP takes this one step more in that the prevailing mentality is as close as one can get to “real world” while still having costumes and amazing powers. It is an interesting perspective to explore if I do have a dog whistle reaction from reading it. It just seems to me like Mitch is in Bizarro World. Perhaps Alex wants this reaction? I suspect so because he is an evil genius.

    Think about it. The Annihilator is foremost an anarchist. It is conceivable that what makes him the most dangerous man in the world is his willingness to give “proper authorities” the middle finger and work independently. Such a “loose cannon” might be vilified in the press relentlessly simply because he is not on a leash. I have seen bank robberies and other crimes in his background art so Duncan is no angel. Still, like Kyle said, “he hasn’t hurt anyone in a long time.”

    I wonder if Alex is turning the entire notion of what makes a hero and a villain in a comic book setting on its ear in order to muddy the waters–get us to think about institutionalized hero teams and what impact they really have in the world. My impulse is to think the Matrix has us. I feel an instinctive drive toward independence.

    Is this deliberate? Am I the only one to find how Flyboy is being treated and how he feels about himself simple “wrong”? Not so much morally and ethically wrong but “wrong” in the sense of a cracked mirror suddenly melting. Something in this story world feels suddenly “off” and “wrong,” It makes the hairs on the back of my neck bristle.

    It touched the part of me that lived in the closet. My instinct is to feel smothered by an overwhelming sense of fake societal comfort and conformity. It’s choking me, I want to and throw it off. “No, this ISN’T normal! This isn’t how things are supposed to be!”

    The X-men are analogous to the civil rights struggle and many in the LGBT community identify with it. Why can’t TYP be analogous to the personal feelings of growing up gay? That sense of growing up feeling weird in one’s own skin, driven by an instinct that is otherwise normal and natural but that the world around me says is unnatural and wrong. It seems like perhaps this is a much more personal, private approach to gay life than the X-men.

    This is only pleasant because of Alex’ gift as a writer. The dramatic expressions of the guest artist suit this kind of story. Mitch is acting like he is coming out to his family and Tsunami is acting like the shocked, reproachful parent figure.

    It hits a nerve with me on a very visceral and personal level. I appreciate that even if it is only my interpretation. Thanks, Alex, and team! I always enjoy an opportunity to ruminate. I appreciate a story that is both fun and it pokes me, it gets me to think. That, in my opinion, is true art. Nicely done, thank you again!

    • Yes.

      • “Yes” in that you see it too or “yes” as in I am the only one to see it? ::grin::

        • Yes that it feels off/wrong/etc.

          Mitch is so precious. I wonder if he has a Mitch-signal that he trusts to a few.

          • He is a computer genius. I wouldn’t put it past him.

    • Klaus

      Mitch is a boy of 14. He is not, as far as we know, any more resistant to injury then the next guy. It just takes one bullet to kill him. Even a knife or a(n un)lucky punch might do it. What does he do if a confrontation turns violent? Dropping a safe on his opponent would get in the news. Tsunami is right, even if he could express his concern in a better way.

      • There is nothing wrong with Gordon’s concern. It is normal and quite appropriate given the danger Mitch is risking. I take into account how powers and abilities break the rules. Miles Morales, the new Spider-man is around Mitch’s age and he takes on gang punks, armed robbers, and super villains. Morales isn’t bullet proof. He is smart and he is fast. Mitch is a genius, he is fast, and he can fly anything he touches. All of this would make for a kick ass comic book and therein lies my point.

        Young Protectors is a comic book and in normal comic books other heroes acknowledge they are all a bit crazy and move on. This world Alex presents seems very different. This world seems closer to our “real world” in that superheroes operate much like they might in our world–as government agents with laws, rules, and high insurance premiums. Anyone who “goes solo” is deemed a flight risk(pun intended) and a potential public menace.

        The world Alex appears to be unveiling does not consider how powers and abilities can break the rules. How can they? There is no precedent. The only model humanity has its own and perhaps this story is about making new rules.

        Earlier, I drew a parallel between what Mitch was going through and the personal journey of coming out as gay. A few years ago the world had no rules for how gay people could lead their lives openly, as happy, productive members of society. It took decades and the courage of a few brave, exceptional heroes to set a new standard. They made new rules until now we’re seeing how laws are catching up, people have caught up, and the world has found a new equilibrium.

        Perhaps Kyle and Mitch are the next generation of brave, exceptional souls to drag their world forward? That would certainly set TYP apart from other comic books and give this title a solid niche from which to represent, grow, and prosper.

    • Very well said, Donald, and I agree very much. I dislike Tsunami’s reaction and find it overblown. Is it because he cares about Flyboy and is worried for his safety? Or is it because the “rules” are being broken?

      For me, I see Tsunami as a HUGE control freak and everything must be followed to the letter. I think he takes himself and takes this “role” as “guardian” too seriously. (For me, I see this role as guardian more as a work around the system so that the team can exist than an actuality.)

      And because of all that, he seems to care more about appearances and what is proper and what could happen to the team if this got out, than Flyboy.

      • Gordon’s reaction is appropriate for a normal person whose vantage of life is the same as ours. What I find confusing is that his life is quite exceptional. He is surrounded by people who represent exceptions to the rule. Spooky survived hell at only 13 years of age. He is 20 now, but he had to be 14, 15, 16, and so on years old before he got to 20. Why is it so alarming for Gordon to see that Mitch is following in their footsteps? More importantly, why does Mitch feel ashamed that he is following in their footsteps? Why would anyone in this group begrudge what Mitch has done? I scratch my head at this seeming inconsistency and wait to see what Alex does next. I’m sure it will be interesting.

        • Well yes, exactly. We’re not reading a story about the average joe teenager trying to fight crime. This is a group of extraordinary young adults.

          Granted I’m also judging Gordon on his past behavior regarding the porn site and his dealings with Kyle while on the plane (so I’m probably being harsher on him for that).

          And on top of that I find his losing his temper at the drop of a hat disconcerting for someone in a role of leadership. I don’t know why they put up with that from him. A leader needs to keep his cool in all situations, no matter how stupid his charges are. How can any of them trust him? Especially if they have a secret or find themselves in trouble. Why would they come to him at all with their problems? Actually, I really don’t blame Kyle for not coming out, if he’s had to be around Gordon all this time.

          • Tyler Griffin

            The funny thing is that a lot of social science and psychological studies are showing that the mindset that I identify with Tsunami, that conservative authoritarianism that is often associated with the American “Religious Right” is inherited, it’s part of a person’s basic personality, just like sexual preference. For people with that mindset, the rules are The Rules, and there ARE no mitigating circumstances. (The fact that many of those people then seek to ascend to positions of making The Rules so that The Rules befit them is entirely outside the scope of this particular discussion).

            If that sort of “Might makes right” mindset really is what applies to Tsu, then it won’t matter what the situation is, Mitch is breaking The Rules, and there is no excuse or exception. Now, I get that he really does care about his teammates and will do anything he can to protect and take care of them, but at the end of the day he will still believe that Mitch is Wrong.

          • Interesting possibility. But basically we’re stuck with Nature vs Nurture.

          • Tyler Griffin

            I agree. And it is a very interesting debate, here and in mental health circles irl. But typically people who end up with this sort of complex end up making very poor leaders because they cannot cope with the fact that life is full of grey areas sometimes following the rules is not the best thing to do, especially when dealing with opponents who are skilled at manipulating the rules.

          • Tyler Griffin

            However, they CAN make very effective lackey’s and first level of management, roles with no actual decision making authority, but the power to execute decisions made by an effective leader.

          • When information is unavailable at the source I turn my attention to the environment around the source, in this case, Amanda.

            Amanda shows keen insight as to how to handle her teammates. It is possible that Gordon holds his position precisely because he needs the responsibility. This leads me to wonder if Gordon held responsibility before and it went badly. This might explain his having grown overly cautious and reactionary.

            If his teammates knew what happened in Gordon’s past then they, as fellow outcasts having made mistakes, might support Amanda’s decision and exercise patience with Gordon’s behavior. It is possible that he needs to grow into his role and recover his confidence. If this is the case I am in full support.

          • I can see that, but at the same time, I think there should be a signal that he needs to take a deep breath and pull back. Just a quick reminder that there are better ways to handle it.

            And yet, I’m still not certain, even if the guys understand, that they would entrust him with their secrets, considering his tendency to react in such a manner. A vicious circle as it were.

          • Ma chere Admiral,

            Your idea for a “safe word” for Gordon is a good one. A clear way Amanda can yank him back without undue embarrassment. This might yet become necessary as the story continues to unfold.

            We’ve seen two cases so far where the boys haven’t trusted Gordon with their secrets. Kyle only just revealed he was gay and Flyboy has two secrets, that he too is gay and he has been sneaking out to go solo as a hero. Clearly, if they thought they could have trusted Gordon, 1. Kyle might have had at least one of the guys on his trip to the gay bar, rendering that the entire scam with Duncan moot, and, 2. Kyle and Mitch could have led their lives openly, honestly, and with greater support from their friends.

            I maintain that Gordon’s behavior is normal and understandable from the perspective of a normal individual, but it stands that he is not a normal individual and he is not surrounded by normal individuals. His behavior impacts the chain of command. It has led to consequences that the team is still dealing with. Perhaps Gordon will learn from his mistake. That is if he has the chance.

          • Or if he even realizes his mistake or considers that one was made. I would be interested to know if Amanda ever takes Gordon aside and explains where he may have gone wrong when he blows his top. Or if he is just one who can’t let The Rules go no matter what anyone says.

            I do look forward to see how this all transpires. For all I know I’m reading him wrong. 🙂

            Again, all well said, Donald!!

    • I expressed/theorized on previous page that I think there’s a very tight control of the meta-humans. To sum up and expand my theory a little:
      I think they’re known of from an early age, trained if they quilify and used when needed. Otherwise they aren’t allowed to use their powers. There’s rules, and you better follow them, or else…
      Anyone who doesn’t agree with that, and works on his/her own behalf, could be seen as a rogue that needed to be taken of ..swiftly! Mitch could get in some really big trouble if its found out that he’s still working on his own, and against strickt rules/orders.
      Going vigilante could be seen as the first possible step to a meta-human going villain. Can’t have an uncontrolled strong force on the loose.
      Actually, I have a feeling that’s exactly how Duncan started out. He could have gone rogue as a vigilante, and refusing the government control he became an anarchist – and from that there isn’t a long way into becoming a villain. Why not, if you’ve already been excluded from the good company? Someone as powerful as him, already opposing the control in a controlled society, it’s almost a slam dunk villain in the making.
      In many ways Mitch has the powers and potential (if caught in the eyes of a governent) to turn into a mini-Duncan. WE feel (sure) he wouldn’t, because of knowing him some, but if you only look at his actions from a government view.. this could end very, very bad.
      So while Tsunami blows up on him, where Amanda’s reaction so far is better, I think it’s understandible.
      Another thing I think could suggest a big meta-human control and them having strict rules.
      We have heard how there’s rule among the meta-people about meta-minors, even followed by (most) villains, and while being on either the good- or the dark side of the law, almost every adult meta-human is gathered the same place for some mysterious crisis conference.
      Something is up. Either within the meta-human society and/or something government/world safety issue. Something that is important and bad enough that even the vigilante and villain adults are called in/are present.

      • Danish, I’m flattered that you offered such a thoughtful reply to my comment! I concur with your theory about tight institutional control over metahumans. If this theory proves correct we might need to update what we consider to be a supervillain vs. what this story setting calls a supervillain. For example, Duncan.

        It is possible that he rejected government control and chose to strike out on his own. He is branded a public menace and hounded at every turn. He strikes back and now he is branded officially a supervillain. Might someone in his position knock over banks? If he had no other way to legally earn money, perhaps. Then we enter the realm of “if only he cooperated then he wouldn’t have to knock over banks.”

        This leads to a chicken and egg argument. If Duncan cooperates and knuckles under to the way society/gov’t wants to do things then he gets to enjoy the benefits society has to offer. If he chooses to say, “hey, doing things your way feels suffocating and unnatural for me. I want to find my own way to contribute” and society reacts reproachfully, attacking him and hounding him at every turn how can they expect him to become a productive member of society?

        I suspect Alex has placed us squarely at the tipping point in the conflict. Duncan on one side and society in general on the other. Mitch and Kyle appear to be the next generation of those who say, “I need to live life by a different set of rules but I want to support and uphold the values of my society. Help me update our rules.”

        Updating rules takes time and it faces stiff, relentless opposition from those who benefit from the original rules. Nonetheless, change is necessary and it takes a few brave, exceptional heroes to lead the fight. Are Mitch and Kyle these heroes? We shall see.

        • Chris Dangerfield

          xxxx

          • Omigosh Danish and Chris replied to my thread. Not to disparage the coolness of Alex and others like milady Admiral Jane and Doki but Chris and Danish have a special kind of chutzpah. Can I have your autographs?

            Anyway, to Chris, I intended no correlation between the motivations between Duncan, Kyle, and Mitch. I only mentioned a curious similarity in the story to the personal struggle of being gay in the closet.

            The circumstances of life in the closet can be identical and yet Individuals react differently. Duncan’s drive to break free and be himself can be functionally the same and yet his experience can involve mayhem and bloodshed, in complete contrast to Kyle and Mitch.

            I hope this clarifies a few details. If not, I look forward to discussing it further. I enjoy the brain candy! I’m glad my topic has proven interesting.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Ahahahahahahahacoughcough…

            Thank you Donald, that is hysterical. FYI… everything I know about trouble-making in a fandom, I learned from Alex and the Admiral (well mostly the Admiral) and, well, Danish is a comic-commenting pot-stirring legend. 😀

            So, I’ll just say thank you for not giving me TL:DR grief and being so nice. I agree, brain candy makes everything better.

            Everything you’re saying makes perfect sense. In fact I was just saying to my man that, I don’t really know why (other than how articulate you guys were) I felt such a need to reply on what is a pretty well-covered subject.

            [Let me preface by saying that I understand we’re talking about a fictional character. However, I think what’s most interesting in character creation is reading, thinking, and asking myself do these human behaviors match up to the experiences of people in my head. Otherwise, I’m just acting like it’s an AU and therefore Duncan is not more human than a Kontari if I just GIVE him an out. AND HONESTLY, THAT’S THE FUN OF IT.]

            It was one of those knee-jerk replies to posts I really enjoyed and agreed with. So, that shows us (once again) how wackily conflicted the character of Duncan often makes me.

            I agree with you about ‘the closet’. A while ago, I remember reading an interesting essay (that I can no longer find, arg) that articulately made the point that with most main protagonist journeys, particularly in hero’s journey style stories (a la Joseph Campbell storylines), can be correlated pretty neatly to the “Coming Out of The Closet Story line.” Which is both funny and oddly true when you start comparing.

            Maturation, self discovery, self-awareness, believing in one’s self, self-confidence, judging others accurately, communicating honestly, identifying true family and friends… and so on and so forth. The steps in the journey are so universal — that it can seem funny — AFTER ONE GETS THROUGH IT THEMSELVES. [laughs]

            Anyway, I’ve been interested in (what I call) “My Duncan Conflict.” If I’m honest, I’d love nothing more than to have a truly valid excuse for his behavior… both with Kyle and throughout the book presented to me.

            That said, even then, I start fighting the hypothetical in my head. Almost every excuse I try on, feels like the beginning of victim blaming and excusing the violator. So, to be fully honest, the minute I start trying to find a set of mitigating circumstances for D’s ACTIONS, I feel like I’m running a variant on “Boys will be Boys.” And I start to creep myself out.

            If I follow only D’s ACTIONS, and not any head-canon I create about his motives or feelings (oh he feels bad…), then I’m not sure that an excuse exists that can meet my mental standards. I’m defining Kyle’s character as an experientially young 18 year-old virgin and Duncan a true 50+ year-old predator. One who uses his victims profound desire for love and sex to enable abuse and the perpetration of a con on a massive scale.

            Keeping all those parameters the same. If I run the exact same scenario, but make Kyle’s character a woman. Suddenly it becomes much more sociopathic and D. feels even more evil (to me). That’s interesting to me. That speaks to me of my cultural conditioning, as if I too want to believe that Kyle “should not have been fooled” and that part of me wars with the other part that says we don’t victim-blame under any circumstances. As you say, “The circumstances of life in the closet can be identical and yet Individuals react differently.” Oh so true.

            So thanks for the original thoughts. Rest assured I do understand the excellent intention that led you and Danish to post. One review called the Duncan character conundrum and the Duncan/Kyle conflict the major motivator for this story. That may be true on a sliding scale (although I do want to know who Spooky pursues a relationship with — possibly another story. I want to know what happens to Mitch in the longer picture. More about Paul. What IS Godon’s story — or as our Admiral has asked… is he just a natural ‘dick’? etc, etc…).

            As an aside, I’m interested in the ways in which our Gordon speculations have (in a more mild way) seemed to mirror our Duncan ones.

            – Why is Tsu so grumpy?
            – Is there an “excuse/reason/driver for his behavior?”
            – Is he jealous of Spooky or the Spooky & Amanda ‘relationship’?
            – Why do the others put up with his treatment of them? I mean day to day. Anyone with experiences of teenagers know that him technically being a guardian would not stop them from grumping back at him for a minute. IMHO they are all oddly patient with his treatment of them.
            – Is he a ‘good’ protective brother or does this behavior cross the line?
            – Is he a mild homophobe or is it all something else.
            – Does he just have problems with sex in general?

            And on and on… Alex is very smart. Trying to understand character motivations is one of the most fascinating pastimes. The only difference between Gordon and Duncan’s “bad behavior” is one of degree. So what does such behavior give him? I’m curious.

            So many interesting ideas to circle. Thanks for sharing yours and stirring my pot. Great brain candy.

          • Chris, I’m glad to give you a smile about the autograph. Your comments never fail to give me plenty to think about and enjoy. You, Danish, the Admiral, Doki, and many others feel like real friends though we’ve never met or chatted in person. I’ve little to add to your most recent response beyond my agreement about your Duncan conundrum.

            In counseling, we learn to identify root causes for behavior as part of helping a client make necessary adjustments, in order to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. That said, there is never an excuse for destructive behavior. Responsibility is critical in the healing process. I look at Duncan from this perspective.

            His response to the “hero’s journey” challenge you mentioned was consistently sociopathic: mob enforcer, robbery, etc. Certainly there were conditions at large that contributed to his behavior–his giving a stifling, inflexible, paranoid society the finger–but he chose a response that led to further conflict. Duncan is responsible for his behavior.

            He is responsible for what he did to Kyle. Mitigating circumstances might allow forgiveness provided Duncan takes meaningful and lasting steps to change his behavior to something healthier. I suspect many who like Duncan are watching hopefully for him to take those steps.

            It is my thought that everyone roots for others to better their lives. The graver the challenge the more we hope because it gives hope that no matter how badly we fall, we can get up, dust ourselves off, and make things better.

            In essence hope for Duncan to pull through his hero’s journey is hope for us all to pull through our own. Duncan might not make it. The odds are stacked against him by his own doing. If he doesn’t, we seek another to root for. I believe this hope is a fundamental function of our instinctive need to not only survive, but to thrive.

            Isn’t it curious then how no one seems to root for Sircea’s redemption? Those who like her seem to do so because she provides cathartic emotional release.

            Sircea is comfortable in her own skin. Unlike Duncan, who seems in conflict with society and his place in it Sircea seems to have made peace with isolation and makes her own way in life. She is sociopathic without regret. She doesn’t look back. Indeed, she is delightfully wicked and candid in her scorn for those who tread a more conflicted path.

            One can admire a true individual even if we oppose their actions. Sircea is such a dynamic individual that she inspires others. Many fail to follow along in her path, but they seem to take pleasure in what she offers–true freedom from shame. Confidence to make her world her own, and a willingness to thrive in solitude.

            Alex is giving us so many examples of how the hero’s journey can play out! How can we not but enjoy studying the intricacies of each character? As a student of human nature, I see a smorgasbord of attractive, dynamic personalities with which to pick apart and study. Perhaps, in studying them I might glean a thought about how to improve my life? Anything is possible.

            Thank you again, Chris, Danish! This has been truly a pleasure.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Excellent post. Thank you for this.

          • This whole thread has been a delight and this analysis even more so. Thank you for it, Donald. 🙂

          • ::happy penguin dance:: You’re welcome, Alex!

    • You’re welcome. Thank you for the interesting and thoughtful analysis! 🙂

  • You know, Mitch has to be very good at doing his freelance if he is able to hide his activities so well. I also wonder just how many times he came across people being bullied for their sexuality while looking for “muggings and stuff”.

    • If Mitch feels compelled to set a good example for others then I can see him confronting bullying. I smile because that makes him a bit of a boy scout, like a certain big “S” guy.

    • I agree. I think some of the reason he’s been able to hide it (from the group) is that he’s doing it at night. I could be wrong but, based on info and how Paul was the only one present when Kyle called for help, I believe they take turns at being at the HQ at nights – in case of an emergency being called in. Otherwise they sleep at home whereever that is (in their apartments or with their parents). Those nights Mitch has a free range, and if he can nicely ‘persuade’ everyone not to turn him in then ..yeah.

  • WarGoddess

    “With great power comes great responsibility.”
    —Wait, wrong superhero comic, oops. 😀

    • Thing is, that strikes me as rather universal in concept. It is true, and that is why it strikes me as a powerful statement.

  • Adam Irving

    I really like this page. I mean, not just because it’s part of a great mini-story, but it gives some exposition I’ve been wondering about. Obviously the story of the main comic keeps things pretty focused, but I’ve been wondering about the structures/systems in place regarding heroes and villains in this world. Mitch referring to other teams, that maybe our beloved team might be a band of misfits, and that there are strict guidelines regarding superhero behavior helps fill in this awesome world even more, and I’m glad when we get it. Thank you!

  • Gregg Hierholzer

    So I thought it would be a good thing to start a Memorial for poor
    Anne. I posted a link to a “GO FUND ME PAGE” only to have someone come
    right behind me an delete the links. WTF. Is someone that shallow? I
    really did think this was a caring community. So let me ask Alex
    Woolfson if he is supporting this or am I just wasting my breath and
    money as I put the first $50.00.

    Anne Staszalek Memorial Page

    http://www.gofundme.com/vttm69s

    • TaintedSeraph

      Honestly, only family members should handle donation pages like that. You don’t actually know if the money is actually going into their hands or not if someone else is running it.

      • SofiaT

        Not to mention that it may not even be what the family wants.
        Their wishes at this time is what matters.

    • Hi Gregg,

      I’m sure Alex will respond as soon as he can. In the mean time, I wanted to let you know that the previous posts were listed as spam for their repetitious nature. It is best if you’re going place such a link, to only do so once.

      Thanks!

    • Howdy Gregg,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been traveling this weekend.

      I think it was a big hearted thing for you to start that GoFundMe page. 🙂 The mods deleted your direct replies to individual commenters (while keeping your original standalone comment about the page you created) because they were following my standing instructions to delete direct replies when the content is identical to what the commenter has left previously on the same page. We’ve had problems with commenters doing that in the past: it clutters the page and since Disqus typically sends a direct email to the original poster with your reply, it can feel spammy and can discourage people from leaving comments for fear they are going to get spammed.

      I thought I had made that explicit in my Comment Policy but looking it over now, I see that I didn’t. :/ So, it’s totally not your fault you didn’t know that. I’ll get on making that clear on the Comment Policy page today. But the short answer is: leaving one comment about something is cool here, leaving several comments with the same thing, especially as direct replies, is something we ask folks not to do. And my mods have instructions to take action when that happens.

      In terms of what I’m supporting: my goal is to support and respect the wishes of Anne’s family and loved ones. When Anne’s wife gave me permission to share this information, my hope was that it would give folks here a chance to share both their condolences and fond memories of Anne. And I see many of you have done just that. 🙂 Seeing those notes of kind support will I hope be a comfort for those loved ones who find their way to this page.

      GoFundMe Memorial pages are a new concept for me. There does however appear to already be a Memorial Page to raise money for funeral expenses created by someone close to Anne and her wife. It was set up on May 15th and has already raised 3/4 of its goal. I’ve sent an email to Anne’s wife to check to see if it’s legit and if I have permission to share that link here. If she grants me that permission, I’ll include that link in a reply here as well as in my next note, for folks who, like yourself, who are moved and have the means to show their caring in that way.

      So, hopefully that clears up the confusion. Again, I think what you did was big hearted and it’s another example of how y’all make me proud of this community here. 🙂 I made it clear in my email to Anne’s wife that there she should feel no pressure in getting back to me, but if she does reply, I will let you know what her wishes are in this matter.

      And with that, I’m closing this thread. If anyone has any further comments or questions about this, please send them to me using the Email Alex link up above. Let’s continue to keep the focus on this page about remembering Anne with fondness and expressing our sincere condolences to those she left behind.

    • dee gee

      that is/was a really nice and generous thing 4 u 2 do.

    • AN UPDATE:

      So, Anne’s wife has returned my email and confirmed that this GoFundMe campaign started in mid-May was set up by family and is legit:

      Anne’s Final Stop

      http://www.gofundme.com/um85e8

      Anne’s wife made it clear to me that she doesn’t want to impose on anyone—she only reached out to me because she wanted Anne remembered at an online place she knew and loved—but I’m including the link here, for those who wish to (and have the means to) show their caring in this way during this difficult time.

  • azurefiction

    forever in love with the fact that spooky is keeping his hand on kyle.

  • RaionSan

    My condolences to Anne Staszalek’s family. A big hug to her wife.

  • TheManBehindTheCurtain

    Mitch is probably just calling the muggings in, not actually physically confronting people.

    Potential major over reaction by flipper, I’m sure he will be explaining on the next page.

    • He could also just be grabbing them up and dropping them in the middle of nowhere. Maybe pretending to drop them as he’s flying until they agree to give up their criminal activities

      • TheManBehindTheCurtain

        Not very likely as such exploits would surely have been commented on in the news/police reports and the list of flying teenagers (remember the government is tracking who has powers)is bound to be pretty small.

        Amanda or someone else would have found him out by now. But anonymous calls to the police are a different thing.

        • Unless he wasn’t seen very well, his costume is dark and he’s doing this at night, and if he just swooped down with his incredible speed and pulled the criminals away to be dropped in say the desert. The criminals might talk amongst each other about a flying squirrel, but I don’t think they would be talking to anyone else.

          And Mitch does talk about going to different big cities where he would less likely be taken notice of, other than a superhero out saving the day, not thanks needed. It’s also possible that the mugging victims didn’t see anything either.

          Just possibilities.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            “Flying Squirrel” just isn’t the most intimidating super name around… yeahhhhhh…

          • True, that’s why he would go by Rocky. But it would make sense of what they thought might be swooping out of the air.

          • Tyler Griffin

            So…. Could Kyle be his Moose? “Moose ankd Squirrel!”

          • That is a good question. 😛

            So I suppose that would make Duncan and Sircea: Boris and Natasha?

          • Tyler Griffin

            I dunno. I kind of think Dun and Sirc are a little too competent for that analogy, “I’m sorry, guys, but you’re just a little OVERQUALIFIED for the role of stereotypical bumbling russian spies”

          • Terri Sutton

            Well Marvel does have Squirrel Girl, so it is isn’t out of the realm of Superheroes universe that people loose the naming Jackpot.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            There was a character who went by that name in one episode of The Tick, iirc.

    • Terri Sutton

      I am going to totally going to start calling Tsunami Flipper from now.

      • dee gee

        dont do that plz. im in his fan club. i used to be homophobic many years ago and ive grown as a person to respect the love of homosexuals. i have hope 4 him.

        • Keneu

          Well, he does flip out frequently, so it may be a good name for him…

          Now seriously, I also like him. I am quite a negative person myself -it’s something I’m trying to change- so I can relate to how he usually sees the bottle half empty. It’s not just him, I always relate more to characters with negative attitudes or traits. Characters with many virtues are ok but they feel idealized to me and that gets old pretty fast. I guess that negative traits make the characters more human and interesting to me.

          Plus, I like that we don’t know everything about Tsunami yet and that he usually voices the concerns of the group and the readers. It’d be very unrealistic if a group of teenagers and tweenagers were going against two of the worst supervillains known and nobody had second thoughts or fears. It shows that he’s protective and pragmatic, but he needs a class or two on how to think before opening his mouth to express himself in a better and more constructive way. Although I like him, I’m getting tired of his knee-jerk reactions.

          As for Tsunami’s reaction on the bonus episode, I don’t want to jump to conclusions yet. I don’t think Alex will make him homophobic for the same reason he won’t write a gay protagonist dying just to advance the plot – you can get enough of that on other media and on real life. He has said he wanted to write about characters who “happened to be gay” and homophobia doesn’t go well with that. But if it’s the case, it’d be interesting to read how Alex handles that subject and I hope Gordon would change his attitude. I’d probably feel very sorry for Kyle and Mitch, though.

        • Terri Sutton

          I was actually thinking of the aquatic version of Lassie.

          They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lighting,
          No-one you see, is smarter than he.

          • dee gee

            well now that u say that, its not so bad.

      • Klaus

        So we have two characters named for parts of whale anatomy: Fluke and Flipper. What shall we call the other four?

        • Terri Sutton

          We should probable avoid Blowhole.

          • Tyler Griffin

            Though, me might could apply THAT to Flipper as well

  • I’m really hoping Amanda tells Tsu to sit his butt down and chill on the next page.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      please.

  • So Mitch thinks he’s Peter Parker…

    • Kate G

      Peter Parker? More like Bruce Wayne. Wait, Bruce Wayne still needs something to use to fly…….

      CLARK KENT!

      • bullets bounce off of superman though… (i at least hope the kid’s wearing body armor 🙂 )

        • Kate G

          Fine, he’s a mortal Clark Kent. HE FLIES. He can’t be Peter Parker (I mean, to be Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne you need something in which to fly building to building. Grappling gun, spider web, frozen water, I’m very insistent on this.) He flies with no other technology except himself; he’s Superman. Or Superboy. Or or….my brain is utterly failing me. Superman and that verse is the only one coming to me. Green Lantern needs the ring in order to fly. I can’t think of any other guys that can fly on their own. HA HA.

          • Tyler Griffin

            North Star? Flies, is mutant, also gay. ( think that all fits… Been awhile since I saw an X-men or Alpha Flight with him in it.)

          • Michael

            Peter Pan, then, but a socially responsible one.

          • Kate G

            Oooooh, good one.

          • Michael

            I’ll admit, I just want to see Mitch in a Peter Pan costume.

          • Klaus

            Human Torch.

  • Shinashi

    Man that’s dangerous. I know Kick-ass isn’t the most realistic of movies, but the part about getting your ass kicked, or lit on fire, probably isn’t that much of an exaggeration

  • I have a growing feeling of why Tsu was rejected from an adult hero team. There could be more that one thing, but his temper is most likely one of them.
    He could have been an intern on a team, like Mitch was, or maybe he never made a team, like Kyle and Paul, but he’s certainly ruled by his emotions and he’s not good at hiding how he feels.

    I notice how he can ‘blow up’ as fast as if you throw a lit matchstick in an oil barrel, but he’s quick to calm down again when Amanda steps in. He may still grumle and pout, but he follows her lead. I think her calm reations and clear head is good for him and his ability to regain control of himself.
    Control and order seems to major things in his life, both on a personal level but also with how things is to be around him -even more when it comes to the teams use of their powers.

    I suspect that in an early-ish age he’s tried and/or witnessed the consequences of the rules being broken. It could be why he was rejected, or he’s seen someone getting hurt from his lack of control (temper). Maybe/likely both.
    He’s like the overprotective bigbrother, but he obviously cares about them all. His short-heated and loud temper trantrums and badly formulated words just makes it harder to see at times.

    • Water is the element of deep feelings.

      • Tsunami is a fitting name for him.

      • Klaus

        Still waters run deep. Not so Gordon.

      • Tyler Griffin

        Yeah, so far Kyle had demonstrated more of a “deep Feelings” and “Still waters” type personality, Tsu seems a bit more on the aggressive, passionate snap reaction end of the spectrum. Maybe they should sign up for a power transfer, lol.

        • Perhaps, but a tsunami is a reaction to an undersea earthquake. What happened in the deep waters of Gordon’s life to drive him to crash against the shore?

          • Michael

            Woah. Deep.

            Throughout human history the contrast between calm waters and raging ocean storms has fascinated and awed us. Gordon does remind me a lot of that contrast, of the unpredictable fury of the ocean at storm, but also at times the deceptively calm contemplativeness and inscrutability of the deep lakes, brimming with leashed power beneath the surface.

  • Ant-Man

    noble & brave of mitch- but lame secret

  • LL

    Panel 4 Tsunami is priceless.

  • SchalaRenee

    Aww. I was hoping Mitch was going to come out to them. I’d have loved to see Kyle’s reaction. And it could still happen in the later comic because they’re going to forget all this. It would have been perfect.

  • Sapfo

    Julie, joined your Kickstarter!
    Let´s get this book out!

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Yayyyy! The Power of the Strawberry!

  • Keneu

    I love the contrast between Mitch’s expressions in the “I fight crime” pannel and the next one, it’s hilarious. Gordon resorting to a red word balloon it’s a great touch too. I’m curious about how Amanda will react to this information and how Mitch will react to being scolded.

  • Tyler Griffin

    *Monty Python Voice* And now for something completely different:

    I was just sitting here thinking and the things that have happened in this and the main comic, and I remembered Kyle talking to Duncan about picking his moniker, and how he wasn’t thinking about how porntastic it sounded. I wonder what the government’s stance on rebranding is? Because, given recent revelations, I could get behind Kyle *ahem wink wink* on a thrust to change his codename to Hellfire or Hellfyre, or somesuch.

    • Klaus

      In my language hellfire (helvedesild) is a disease, Shingles in Enlkish.

      • Michael

        That’s a good description.

  • Gregg Hierholzer

    thanks Alex. I closed mine and put the funds on theirs.

  • Hey everyone!!! So Sunday was traveling and yesterday was shopping, today we are taking the Birthday Boy (my nephew – three today) to the beach, and tomorrow we are going to a waterpark. I hope everyone enjoys camping tonight and I will catch the page tomorrow. *hugs everyone*

    • Klaus

      Have fun.

      • I will try……sand gets everywhere -_-

        • dee gee

          its funny i said the same thing earlier today. ill miss u @ camp doki. have fun.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Awesome! I hope you have a wonderful time at both places! Remember to wear lots of sunscreen. 🙂

  • Several long, and great comments/replies have been made for me on this page, but I haven’t replied to many of them.
    I want to let you know that I’ve seen them, read them, but I have had a handful of really stressful days that culminated in the weekend. With this my mindset just hasn’t been able to make the replies that I think your thoughtful and great speculated replies have deserved – and now that I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief yesterday, the problem has been lack of time.

    I’ve liked reading the well theorized replies, even when not replying, and it’s been a good distraction to think about what’s been said. Thank you for that. I love this community, and sometimes you’re a help – even ifyou don’t know it 🙂

    I’ll be back tonight for the new page, and maybe I’ll actually make it to camp this time instead of making it here minutes after the page is up (like I’ve done the last two times) *lol*

    • stickfigurefairytales

      That’s been the case for me the last two times too (making it several minutes after the new page goes up). Fortunately, I seem to have gotten here early enough tonight.

  • AseretZone

    *drags in tent and sleeping bag and sets up camp* Hullo, all! Sorry I missed the last camping session, I was in the hospital being checked out before I got sent home with contractions still going. *flops down* But good news! My baby Nate was born on Sunday night, May 31st, and he is beautiful! Let me find you a picture. *digs around on Tumblr* Found one! http://zonerobotnik.tumblr.com/image/120435545437 You can’t see ’cause of the hat, but his hair is brown. For now. I’m told it might change like his eyes will. Also, my baby fat is all but gone, omg. XD So much for worrying about fitting in my clothes afterwards!

    So, about this page! (Sorry for rambling about my baby. XD) Mitch, that is very dangerous but also very noble. Loving the expressions, and it’s funny how Spooky can look so casual and yet so concerned at the same time. XD And he’s STILL in his boxers!

    Loving Mitch’s cringe in that last panel. He SO didn’t want to tell them. Good thing they’ll all forget!

    • Congrats Aseret!! He’s gorgeous!!

      • AseretZone

        Thank you! He is so very precious. <333

    • DC

      I noticed you hadn’t been around since Wednesday and was wondering if it was because Nate had decided to arrive. Welcome Nate. He is so very beautiful. Congratulations!

      • AseretZone

        Yeah, contractions hit so I was offline and visiting the hospital a lot and we were left for days wondering “is this it?” and then on Sunday he just gushed all over my couch and we had to GO. XD Took two hours from home to his birth at the hospital, no time for any painkillers I planned to take! Soo painful, but he’s so worth it. 🙂

    • Saxon_Brenton

      Ah, adorable baby. May all his superpowers be used benevolently.

      • AseretZone

        XD The only “superpower” he has is the power to make everyone stop what they’re doing and go “D’awwwww!”

    • Kate G

      Best wishes to you and Nate! He’s going to be a handful, I bet! My nephew is, well, more than one. I call him T-Rex.

      • AseretZone

        Thank you! He mostly sleeps right now. XD Not much different from the cats, really.

        • Kate G

          That’s how my nephew was until he was the magical age of 2 months. Then it all went downhill. I actually have called him T-Rex since birth as I needed a name to call him online. Babies remind me of T-Rexs (aptly summed up by the following pin) and so he’s had the name ever since.

          https://www.pinterest.com/pin/526780487634815705/

          • davefragments

            Once they start to move, it gets hard to keep up.
            Then they start to talk and never stop. I always knew where one of my nephew’s was because he talked to himself incessantly. All I had to do was listen for the voice. When I didn’t hear it, I went looking to see what trouble he got into.

          • AseretZone

            He’s already got a nickname: Wolf. XD Based on “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, he caused SO many false alarms for my family when I was pregnant.

          • Kate G

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. That’s a good one. I was calling him something else, but it could have been seen as derogatory (I was calling him “midget”) so I went to T-Rex. I had a very hard time trying to connect with him before he was born, so I was just trying to find something (it doesn’t help that I DETEST babies. I still hate them.) I’m still having a hard time (I have Autism) but I don’t flat out reject him anymore. He’s more a mere annoyance that will occasionally be cute on Mondays. It’s a work-in-progress.

    • Alt+F7

      Awww, congratulations! I’m glad you are both happy and healthy!

      • AseretZone

        Thank you! We are both very happy and healthy and so is his daddy/my husband! ^^

    • Michael

      Congratulations! I’m so happy for you.

      • AseretZone

        Thank you! ^^

    • davefragments

      He’s adorable. Glad to hear you both are OK.
      Congratulations.

      • AseretZone

        We’re both doing great. And he’s growing so fast! >_<

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Well, that’s a heckuva good reason to have missed camping. Congratulations on your new son! He is absolutely adorable!!

      • AseretZone

        Yes, it is. XD Thank you, he’s so precious!

    • Congratulations!!! Little Nate is gorgeous!!!

    • Yay! Congratulations! That is one beautiful baby. 😀

  • Alt+F7

    Darn Timezones, one wedneday I’ll remember and won’t spend the trainride home being excited for the new page… maybe.

    • Kate G

      Nope. Still Tuesday here in the States. You must be in Australia as that’s the only way you can be having a train ride home and it still be 8 PM here.

      • Alt+F7

        Yeap, Sidney-sider here, though It’s also because I only have one very early class on wednesdays this semester.

        • Kate G

          HA HA. You always know tomorrow will come if you have an Aussie friend. If they don’t respond…well, you have a problem then.*snorts*

          • Alt+F7

            Ahahah, exactly why I keep in contact with people from New Zealand, that 2 hour headtsrt on the apocolypse 😛

          • Kate G

            Hm, I wonder if there’s anyone who lives on Midway Island? If I remember, that’s the island closest to the International Date Line? Then we could really know about zombie apocalypses.

            Wait, could they even tell us about a zombie apocalypse if it started on a teeny tiny island? Could we assume it would be an isolated event? Or would these zombies be like Pirates of the Caribbean zombies?

          • Alt+F7

            Zombie Mermaids. Be afraid, be very afraid.

          • stickfigurefairytales

            Scuba vampires are also a danger.

          • Alt+F7

            The worst are runway werewolves, if they can survive all that waxing, they must be unstopable.

          • Kate G

            Survive the waxing. LOL.

            No, no. The worst? Zombie domestic dogs and cats. *shudders* Think of all the homes with dogs and cats.

      • Terri Sutton

        Hey Alex might have some SE Asian fans.

        • Kate G

          I figured Australia because of the graffiti like icon. Bright, colorful graffiti tends to be an Aussie thing. It was more a guesstimate by looking at the icon and knowing time zones. I could have been wrong, but I took a wild guess.

          • Terri Sutton

            I wasn’t aware that Graffiti was an “Aussie” thing. Any graffiti isn’t council sponsored (99.9%) is simply; “[insert name here] was her”, “[insert name here] is a c-bomb” occasionally broken up by “fishies [insert year here].

          • Kate G

            Graffiti in itself is rather international; bright, colorful graffiti is definitely something I see more of an Australian thing. The US definitely has a more muted palette when it comes to graffiti. Dark blues, purples, reds, blacks, are something you’re more likely to find in the United States in general. You’ll find brighter colors, but on the whole the United States has a muted palette with graffiti. Australia, on the whole, from photos I’ve seen, has a wider range of colors that are also brighter. That’s where the difference is.

    • davefragments

      I have a special place on my computer with SEVEN clocks that show time from Sydney to Copenhagen. Without them, I’d be lost.

      • Alt+F7

        Wow, that’s some level of international connection. I actually keep 4 clocks too (California, New York, Sydney and Auckland) but I forget to check them X_X

        • davefragments

          The online journals I submit short stories too are located in odd places.

        • Michael

          I just go to the greenwich mean time website, wwp.gmt[number] .com, changing the number as needed. For example, wwp.gmt-5.com gives American Eastern time, and wwp.gmt10.com gives Australian Eastern time.

          A handy shortcut 🙂

  • davefragments

    I closed my eyes and fell asleep for five minutes. I didn’t realize that I was that tired. I’m going through an editor’s markup of 70K words and I don’t stop once I start to edit a story. The last story is the longest at 15K words and that will take two maybe three days. Then I go back and read the entire thing out loud before I put it in Grammerly.

    • stickfigurefairytales

      Wow. Good luck!

  • davefragments

    go guys

  • davefragments
    • stickfigurefairytales

      Wow, that was really early!

      • davefragments

        Yes,
        And it’s good early, I fell asleep for about five minutes about 15 minutes ago. Too tired.

        • stickfigurefairytales

          Poor tired Dave!

          • davefragments

            snore!

  • bronakopdin

    I was totally busy these last days and now that I finally found time to check I read those sad news :((

    My sincerest condolences to Anne’s wife! I think I never chatted to her but I do know that this community is made of the most awesome people, we will miss her a lot just as Alex said…

    As much as this upsets me, I’m getting cheered up by this last panel with Gorden getting so angry and Mitch wincing with that hilarious expression ^^ knowing and full of guilt 🙂 at least I can check out the next page immediately due to my delay!

    also congrats again on reaching that milestone goal for Tsunami’s background 🙂
    as I at least found time to check patreon ^^

  • I am so sorry to hear about Anne. My condolences.

  • Ninhursag

    I’ve began reading this comic today, so I’m new to this community, but it saddened me to know that someone that enjoyed this comic had passed away.

  • Melissa Longo

    I wish I was more talkative in the comments section instead of being a lurker and a reader but I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to those who are mourning Anne. She’s in my thoughts. <3

  • Sassafrassery

    PROTECTIVE GORDON IS PROTECTIVE