Classroom background photos provided the the Actual Mr B
yeah, this is not going to go well.
I’m so hoping that you were right about being wrong, but so far it’s not looking like it…
I’m hoping I read it wrong…somewhere and somehow.
why do I hope I’m wrong? because if I’m right, this is going to be one tough storyline hitting some serious material and issues that the modern industry is too…squeamish…to deal with. Questions like where the lines really are, when you have a caste in society that can get away with what licensed heroes can get away with, or questions about where the line between hero and villain really gets laid down, and of course, the questions about consequences that a lot of the industry really doesn’t want to even admit are there, like at what point ‘vigilance’ becomes ‘harassment’ and at what point harassment goes over the line.
I can see the easy cop-out too; making “Maker” a sociopathic assmonkey who really IS just waiting for a chance to start trashing stuff and killing people. That’s the easy route, it keeps a nice black-and-white separation going and justifies anything that ‘Breaker’ does to him.
Maybe this is the catalyst for Val getting to make systemic change, when she find out Break is basically forcing Tim to be a villian because that is all she sees him as and the only way to try to escape is to be a villian – hopefully it goes bad before the Villian agency gets to him.
I think it deeply depends how far the authors want to take it. I made my worst prediction already-because there IS always a choice, but every choice has consequences, and some of them are permanent and can’t be rolled back. (something kids, especially, don’t learn until much later in their lives usually.)
Of course, my predictions are both wrong and worthless and I tend to misread EVERYTHING this early in a storyline.
I think you really want to write a story of a kid who is the victim of circumstance and forced back into a life of crime and then kills himself tragically. So you should totally do that. Write the story you want to see in the world! And publish it on your own comic or blog or whathaveyou.
But if you actually want to post theories about THIS story, instead of writing pages and pages of stuff that you freely admit are not good and unlikely to happen, how about you review the material so that you’re a) not basing your theories off of incorrect data, and b) not basing your theories off of a mass of unfounded assumptions that you have just decided are true. Cuz seriously, like 99% of what you have written is stuff that you have made up yourself that has zero basis in what the comic has actually presented, and some of it is outright wrong.
This kid is not a victim. He is not a Soft Boi Cinnamon Roll who is SO OPPRESSED by the Unjust System with nowhere to go and no choice but to go back to crime just because he made a Sad Face when he got out of Juvie. And Break isn’t the bad guy because she, as a blue card hero, is keeping an eye on her actual nemesis who has gotten out and reoffended AT LEAST once since we last saw him. You can think she’s being kind of a bitch about it (I do think that) but you can’t suggest that he’s too young and immature to consider his actions but she’s not. She’s not “basically forcing” him into anything. You know the ONLY thing he has to do to not be a “villain forever?” Stop being a villain. Quit building devices of mass destruction. Boom, done. The only thing he’s suffering from is Affluenza, nothing else.
what part of “I’m probably wrong” aren’t you getting, Byrdie? My speculations are just that-applying what’s in the archives to things we know happen in reality, then accepting the possibility of being wrong when outlining projections instead of simply assuming foreknowledge.
you know, actually reading the story and thinking about it because it’s good, instead of treating the world-building like popcorn. In the old-school tabletop gaming, there’s this method of DM’ing called “Rule of natural consequences”. I don’t know you, and don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a game where someone had this in play, but a lot of player-behaviors that are stereotypes and tropes wind up going badly under it. (Things like assuming all Orcs are by default evil simply for existing, for example, or players assuming that helpful elf has their interests at heart…or the ‘all necromancers are evil’ thing, or assuming that you can attack someone without evidence based on a hunch without drawing the city guard down on your head.)
How does this relate? These kids (both of them) are afflicted with your ‘affluenza’. Why? they both have that one in ten thousand special advantage regular people don’t have, the advantage that means they can both do things regular people CAN’T DO. Maker can build things that violate conservation of energy, basic mechanical physics and basic engineering concepts. Break can instantly percieve the weaknesses of complex systems and break them with minimal effort and minimal tools (and has a source for rocket-boots that not only grant flight, but don’t break her femurs when she activates them.)
Yeah, neither one of them is ‘regular people’. Powers trump race, gender, or any of the other things you’ve got socially here, because both of ’em are walking around with a special exemption. (Break wasn’t held civilly liable for the damage she inflicted taking Make down in spite of not being OLD ENOUGH to be licensed-neither were her parents/legal guardians, which is clear based on where she’s sitting in the classroom. If that’s a private school, someone is paying for it.)
your ‘solution’ isn’t a solution, btw. ANY technology can be weaponized. The only way Timmy there has of never being ‘a supervillain forever’ is to quit building or designing anything. Even beneficial things, because they can be used as weapons.
Your logic is the same as “Isuaro could’ve had a happily ever after if he just stuck to being a henchman instead of moonlighting as the Vigilante.”
While technically true, it’s not true to his circumstances in either case. Might as well demand an artist stop drawing or a musician stop playing.
Finally, there are rational ‘outs’ and irrational ‘outs’. the rational ‘out’ would be to get into a hero program. That would maybe work-if it’s even possible for Tim with a criminal record. My speculations were on the IRRATIONAL outs-the ones likely to be taken by a hormonal teen with bad parents, because I’ve fucking SEEN that-people with exceptional talent who wind up with a string of misdemeanors until they end up with felonies, and people with exceptional talent whose ‘non problems’ are significant enough TO THEM to eat a bullet or run a hose from the exhaust pipe into the cab and go for a drive in their mom’s garage with the door shut.
It’s never over anything an outside observer would term ‘significant’. Some teasing, some hassling maybe. Maybe just not fitting in or being accepted, or maybe because they can’t escape past mistakes and end up making new (Permanent) ones.
Your statements show you’re judging him not based on either his actions, or his probable actions, but on a socioeconomic position and, frankly, you’re treating the character like a stat-sheet and a demographic exercise rooted in what’s popular to despise.
And the God of the comic did come down from the heavens and say “cool they jets,” and lo, the jets, they cooled. Amen.
For serious, the tone is getting uncool. Typically we let y’all bicker to your hearts’ content, but I think we’ve had enough.
We also typically don’t correct misconceptions, as doing so might interfere with plot stuff, and letting you misdirect each other suits our Nefarious Purposes.
However, it seems like now might be a good time to experiment with something we have never done before: answering questions about canon. If you would like to clarify something you are unsure you have read or confirm your interpretation of the archives in some way, now is the time. Take advantage of it; I cannot promise that we will like how this goes and let it continue. Obviously I’m not going to give away seeeeecrets, but I am willing to confirm or deny facts that could be picked up from an archive crawl. (You’re stuck with me for these shenaigans bc Laura is back at work, and my furloughed butt welcomes distractions from laundry and the RPG system I should be writing.)
I will start with some very basic ones from this arc to get you going. Yes, Break is a full Blue Card Official hero and has been since her first appearance. Her only power is the detection of structural weakness. Make is/was a full Red Card Official villain. The only mention of his abilities in the comic is Break calling him a “garden variety super genius builder.” His cast page bio lists “genius inventor and engineer” in the powers section, but it has never been established if his abilities are an actual POWER, or if he’s just a genius.
There you go, have at it. I do think that it has ceased to be productive to put forth predictions we believe to be untrue. I think that road has been thoroughly explored. Let’s restrict ourselves to speculating about what WILL happen. Unless you want to speculate about Amanda Palmer and Matt Mercer calling us up for the collabs of our dreams. THAT sounds great.
I am very late for bed and am going to sleep….do not make me regret.
Amanda Palmer AND Matt Mercer? hm. interesting.
I have to admit some curiosity though:
Everyone else with a Blue Card thus far that we’ve seen had to attend mandatory training that took years, and included formal placement after they’d finished growing to adulthood. (Thus, why Sparkle, who had lackluster performance, and Valerie, whose body didn’t develop the..erm…assets, were placed as ‘Sidekick’.)
so how does issuing a blue-card to a little kid actually WORK on an ethical and/or legal level? it’s easy to see that the Villain side would be unethical enough to recruit someone young/immature, but putting a full-on blue card on someone in grade school or junior high who isn’t even old enough to have had the time to be given the basic training? Isn’t that a little bit on the scale of employing child soldiers? (along with all the juicy, juicy psychological traumas that come to kids being put on the front lines in combat)
How do you sign up your kid for that? What kind of parent would sign off on that? (Red card’s different-bad parenting seems like the default there.)
Probably the same way everything else in the agency works: with a giant binder of Paperwork.
This is a comic about superhero genre tropes, and one of those tropes is kids getting powers and becoming heroes. There could potentially be a deeper bakstory about the nitty gritty of how that happens, if she was a main character, but she’s not.
And NO. A kid getting powers and deciding to be a hero in a universe where that can be a thing is NOT the same AT ALL as a kid getting kidnapped, his entire family being murdered, and then being forced to commit war crimes.
We do have characters who have suffered trauma as children/young adults. That’s part of storytelling. None of those characters are in this arc. And we certainly aren’t sitting down during plotting time to wring “juicy juicy psychological traumas” out of child characters.
nevermind, i’m out.
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