Sidekick Girl

Saving the City: Sans-Spandex

I've been waiting for this page for YEARS.  You don't even know.



Oh em gee, cute animals AND heartfelt dialogue?  How can we even?

22 responses to “Mackenzie Returns V”

  • Ragingagnostic on February 15, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    If the ferret approves, he doesn’t have to move!

  • Skyler Ammons on February 15, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    I like how well Mack and Val balance each other out, and how they both show the issues of life. Being pretty doesn’t make your life easier. We all have our own issues we need to deal with, hopefully with someone who cares about you like Mack and Val are for each other.

  • Panjetarkan on February 15, 2017 at 4:42 PM

    Hmmmm… I wonder what powers he may have, being blind, living in a world of darkness…

  • Black Rose on February 15, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    What’s next for Mack? Will she start dressing more drab,adopt a Batman attitude,what???

  • Coriolis on February 15, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Mack, if he’s had his hands on your face, he knows you’re pretty…

  • Random Spectator on February 15, 2017 at 10:44 PM

    True, but he cares about HER, rather than her looks. That’s the important thing, and a big part of why he’s so much better for her than Drake ever was.

  • groundthistle on February 16, 2017 at 6:44 AM

    Hey Coriolis, I imagine the concept of what someone looks like in comparison to anyone else doesn’t work the same since he would be lacking necessary context to perceive visual beauty at that moment the way people with sight can. If he was born blind, or had been blind for a long enough time, his memory of shaping someone’s face in his imagination probably adapted out of using it. Sure he may have (if he wasn’t born blind) a memory of seeing faces, but anything he sensed about her would still be an imaginary construct on his part.

    He could sense symmetry, and possibly recognize features as distinguished from someone else, but how would he “know” this is “pretty”?

    I found this fantastic forum request discussing how blind people perceive beauty that shares a few testimonials about how there is no visual assimilation or stimuli, so the triggers that people like you and I queue from aren’t there.

  • Andorxor on February 16, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    And now the heroic ferret knight found a loyal steed worthy to carry him into battle.

  • The passing critic on February 16, 2017 at 5:21 AM

    He seems a pretty awesome guy but the very thought of him liking her for her mind makes me snicker XD.Someone needs to explain that while the guy is blind Mack is still sexy in braille<3

  • groundthistle on February 16, 2017 at 7:13 AM

    Hey passing critic, I can’t help but wonder what it would take for someone to grow enough to impress you.

    I’m not making a dig, but just questioning some of the elements in your comment and in your comment from the last comic about her “puny brain”. The interpretation I got from this plot development is that Mack, not only having taken time to sort through a huge emotional upheaval with her family, managed to grow from that, and dedicate herself to broadening her perspective and intellect.

    More to that point, she’s broadened not only her perspective, intellect, and her skillsets, but has come back as someone who has self-confidence based on accomplishment and hard work, and has a focused area she wants to develop to continue improving herself.

    It bothered me that an accomplishment of that nature could be written off so flippantly. Mack’s overcome a huge turmoil with her family, her insecurities, her parent’s expectations and lack of contributing esteem build, and her own learning roadblocks to come out the other side as a better person who is in control of herself, confident, and has learned how to learn.

    That’s a monumental achievement – the vast majority of people never break themselves out of their absolute certainty that their world view is x,y,z, and must be correct, or become self aware enough to identify where and why they doubted themselves.

    I firmly believe that anyone can better themselves, and everyone has the same capacity for brilliance, and would hate to tarnish that example when provided.

    Yes, this is a fictional character, but the accomplishment is equally important to appreciate in real people, and as a published work, this material provides a message to its readers. This is a message that I think needs to be insured against damage.

    Forgive me for butting-in, but the implications from your comment on a story arc that I found to be very well developed, bothered me because it felt like her accomplishments were so severely reduced and dismissed.

    I freely admit that I didn’t put a lot of “this post is being super negative” stock towards you, and that my response is way overkill for (all I could tell was) just being friendly and contributing – please don’t take this in any way as a directed attack – the comment just got me thinking.

  • The passing critic on February 17, 2017 at 5:05 AM

    Hmm thats a good question,Though Mack has undoubtedly started becoming a better person(It started LONG before she was given a free power upgrade btw) but i still percieve her as being dangerously stupid,Especially given that she now has a power that can accidentally kill people in dozens of ways if used carelessly which is why im glad shes finally got some training beyond “Whelp your parents are basically superman and wonderwoman so we dont dare fail you for being incapable of basic heroing that even shiver managed to score a D+ on”.

    Before I start listing what id need to see before i completely change my opinion on her lets look at your take- Macks perspective has no doubt broadened.She literally now has a power which makes her feel like trying for the first time in her life,Heck she shouldve cottoned on during the bodyswap story that maybe she should look at her powers again if Val can so effortlessly make them supereffective while Mack cant.Macks skillsets have barely broadened from her own efforts at all,They were forced by events far beyond her control INCLUDING the heros agency insisting she has months worth of basic training again so she doesnt become a non malicious version of shiver.

    As for intellect*Giggles* Oh sorry youre being serious!Self awareness does not an IQ make.This page has three things alone with more self awareness than Mack has and two of them are valuble members of society that live to directly help others,Yes im saying that at best Illumina might be more intelligent than a ferret-MIGHT!

    Im glad that Mackenzie is finally trying to change herself and improve herself as a person and even admire it but she has taken just one step on a long road,For it to truely be a Major achievement id need to see her actively taking steps two three and four.Until then I will continue to see her as a dunce,Albeit a well meaning one.

    Dont worry about offending me,Im always happy to hear others points of view.As narky as I am its sometimes the easiest way to broaden horizons and undergo self analysis,Though also be aware im not the type to give a pat on the bum and a thumbs up to something that strikes me as a childishly simple achievement =).
    Ah what the heck?I know it may annoy but I may as well say it!Part of me is suddenly wondering that if her new beau looked like Shrek would Mackenzie be trying halfway as hard to follow his lessons?

  • Grant G on February 17, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Mack’s dialogue reminds me of the words of a pretty girl I grew up with. I asked her why she was dating an obvious rude creep who treated her like crap, she said “At least he never lies to me. ” My reaction was like Val’s on this page. Everyone is broken somehow, so be kind to them all.

  • HakkyounoTenshi on February 17, 2017 at 10:56 AM

    I love this comic and it’s fandom. We don’t have flame wars. We have honest to God discussions.

    Mack has had some great character growth recently (Although I honestly miss the pink). It will be interesting to see where things go how this will change the superhero dynamic between Mack and Val.

    PassingCritic, I would argue that Mack has taken two important steps, although you might be counting them together as one. First is that she’s recognized that a lot of her previous limitations were self-imposed. Second is that she’s taking the steps to surpass those limitations. Both of these things are difficult to do. Yes she still has a very long road ahead and she probably won’t end up as the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I will point out is that Mack really does want to protect and help people, so while yes she does have a power set that would be catastrophic is misused, I do believe that she’ll be careful with them.

    Mack also seems to be moving past her crippling lack of self esteem. I think Kirin’s blindness may have been a good thing for Mack aside from the prettiness aspect. He wouldn’t have had the same expectations for her that other people have (Although I really wonder how he was able to gauge her progress. Does he have some sort of perception power?). That would have been good for her. Being able to make an entirely new first impression.

  • Caf on February 18, 2017 at 9:52 PM

    Given what we know about the politics of superheroing in this world, its likely that Kirin understands that Mack, being a hero to begin with, is also pretty in the conventional sense, it just doesn’t matter to him.

  • Opus the Poet on February 19, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    Given the dialog in the last few comics I don’t think this is a new power, just a recently recognized power, as in how she’s kept her breasts perky and hair big without added support.

  • David Johnston on February 20, 2017 at 12:26 AM

    Isn’t this Mack’s apartment in the first place?

  • Mischa Avros on February 20, 2017 at 2:11 AM

    How long until mister Ferret is on the receiving end of THE CHIN?

  • Mischa Avros on February 20, 2017 at 2:26 AM

    While I can agree with The Passing Critic that Mac’s receiving the new training was beyond her control, I would put it to you that getting trained is not like receiving a direct information download. Unless you’re a cyborg hero, which she is not. She may not have had a choice in whether she was getting the training or not, but how she conducted herself during it was entirely up to her, and I see a huge change there between how she is implied to have been applying herself, vs how she was paying so little attention at the hero agency meetings in earlier arcs.

    I find it especially unlikely that her tutor would be so taken with her if she was just a load that needed to be pushed through the whole process. For them to have grown so close in such a short time implies that they have shared some very deep bonding experiences, and that she has taken not just one step on the path you spoke of, but several. Granted, they were taken offscreen, but I think the signs are there. Either that, or he’s only interested in her for her connections, and she’s too dumb to realize that. I suppose that’s a possibility too, but I doubt it. I don’t think the creators of this comic would do something like that.

    In fact, we were already starting to see her take charge more before, when she researched the agency’s rules regarding her feud with Sparkle, and not only found the answer she needed, and understood it correctly, but did so on her own without Val’s help or even her knowledge. That wasn’t outside of her control either.

  • Mischa Avros on February 20, 2017 at 2:42 AM

    Also, what were Sparkle’s powers, again? Weren’t they pretty much the same as Illumina’s? If the Villain agency busts her out and gives her similar training, that could make for one hell of a showdown.

  • Coriolis on February 22, 2017 at 8:37 PM

    Opus the Poet articulated something I knew sub rosa — heros in this universe are all conventionally pretty; it’s literally part of the job qualification, a prerequisite for certification. I was careful to specify face to avoid the innuendo The Passing Critic made (and was criticized for). We do not know and should not assume the full extent of their intimacy. So, assuming he knows at least the shape of her face, text articles analyzing “what is physical beauty” often point to symmetry of features, so, he probably does have an intellectual appreciation of all this. Something completely separate (and as noted elsewhere, utterly irrelevant to) his appreciation of other cues, such as her voice or her manners.

    Haze finessed the entry-level appearance standard by earning a promotion, but I would be surprised if she wasn’t pressured by the Agency to get a boob job at some point, “to fulfill the public’s expectations, you know?”. Being a speedster though, gives her the rationale of “I need to maintain a more aerodynamic shape” to decline without saying “I just don’t want a boob job!”, which the Agency would likely not accept (“That’s just selfish. We all, as heroes, or even just as adults, have to do things we’re not 100% comfortable with…”). Because she most likely doesn’t.

    Just because Sparkle’s powers are superficially similar to Illumina’s does not make them the same. Sparkle may have pure-and-simple light-based powers, meaning possible power stunts would be something more like holography or pinpoint armor-piercing laser.

  • Coriolis on February 22, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    Also, it’s unfair to say Mack is putting in “no effort”, there is effort, it’s just all happening off-camera. What we need is a TRAINING MONTAGE! 😉

  • Mischa Avros on March 11, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Ooo, lasers and holography, I can see it now… “So I hear you’re using telekinesis now, Illumina. Can you catch THIS?” ZAP.

    That could be a cool opportunity to show that Mac has also learned how to think her way through a fight. She’d have to be creative, maybe levitate mirrors, or something.

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