Issue 7 - Page 22

23rd Nov 2018, 6:00 PM in Into the Darkness - Part 3
Issue 7 - Page 22
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Steven-Vincent 23rd Nov 2018, 6:00 PM edit delete
And now Nightchantress reaps the reward of sparing Abby's little brother. Would breaking the staff really destroy her soul? Abby's not willing to find out.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans!
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DLKmusic 23rd Nov 2018, 6:11 PM edit delete reply
Killing off NC? Consequences for that wouldn't have been nearly as bad! Liberty Lass would be joining Liberty Man in the club of former superheroes, but at least the city would remain intact!

Awesome as always, Steven-Vincent! thanks for the update.
MK_Wizard 23rd Nov 2018, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
She did the right thing. If that thing is tied to her soul, she might die the REAL death which is... really bad even for someone like her. Abby did the best thing between a rock and a hard place. Though as sad as I am to say it, I'm beginning to see why Liberty Man did not stay a hero.
HiFranc 23rd Nov 2018, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Actually, my impression is that it could be worse than death. If her spirit is shattered, she might die but she might be conscious but be incoherent or be in an unrecoverable vegetative state.
MK_Wizard 23rd Nov 2018, 8:49 PM edit delete reply
Exactly and this is why I love Abby’s sense of mercy.
HiFranc 23rd Nov 2018, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
Steven-Vincent 23rd Nov 2018, 10:01 PM edit delete reply
Glad you all approve of Abby's choice.

Given that Nightchantress spared TJ, I couldn't see her making any other choice.

There of course could be consequences for hanging up on her mentor.
Comic Fan 24th Nov 2018, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Good story!

But I'd like to disagree. As the Devil's Advocate...

I believe that if she had broken the staff PROMPTLY and before NC said anything, Abbey would NOT have lost the Spirit of 1776.

It's not like she was going to kill NC with intent or anything. That would have been murder, and a clear violation of NC's rights, like when Liberty Man intentionally caused the death of his foe and subsequently lost his powers.

I say the above assuming for the moment that NC is actually human and has human rights. I think she may not be, but that's an argument for another day.

Back to my point: You can't be penalized for something you did not know because there was no way to know it given the available evidence at the time you didn't know it.

The Spirit of 1776 CHOSE Liberty Man, then CHOSE to leave him. The Spirit of 1776 CHOSE Abby. This strongly implies that the Spirit of 1776 is not just some lifeless, amorphous, soulless, unguided "thing". It is a spirit and it has the ability to reason and decide.

I think NC is lying anyway. There is no reason for her to tell the truth about the staff or anything else; if she gets power from it, there's no benefit for letting it be destroyed, and no penalty for lying just to keep it in the world.

And actually, if Abby DID lose her powers, that would just be another WILLING SACRIFICE, like the one when she was willing to give up her own life saving the lady on the street that first day.

Consider this conundrum:

Would Abby be willing to AVOID taking action if there was a chance that a criminal could go on to hurt or kill somebody? For that matter, can't we consider that maybe, just maybe Liberty Man's loss of his powers was just another form of personal sacrifice; a completely NECESSARY one, to prevent that violent criminal from going on to maim or kill innocent people who DON'T happen to be able to defend themselves with the Spirit of 1776?

I submit to all of you that Abby SHOULD have smashed the scepter the moment Liberty Man told her to. I also submit to you that in order to be a true hero, Abby needs to be willing to accept the risk of potentially losing her gift, simply because she must always do the right thing, as guided by her heart, mind, and soul.

Doing the right thing sometimes is hard, and often you don't really know if you're doing the right thing, not until later, much later, or maybe never.

If she can't take that risk, then maybe she's not TRULY taking risk/making sacrifice and maybe is a little bit less deserving of KEEPING the gift of the Spirit of 1776.

In fact, in this episode, TJ was more willing than Abby to sacrifice it all, just to do the right thing. He had less ability, no powers, no invulnerability, and no guarantee that he would be able to wake Abby. Yet he put on the goggles and walked into a ball of evil darkness just because he loved his sister and had a chance to put a stop to NCs rampage.

Love the work on this story. I still would have liked to see NC feel some true pain. A bad internal wound requiring she receive dialysis treatments or wear a colostomy bag, for example. Or maybe some nerve damage or a nasty debilitating scar on her face that makes people stare. There are ways to have her do it to herself so that Abby won't get into trouble with the Spirit of 1776.

As it is, NC didn't even get a headache or a really bad hangnail that just won't heal. Well, I can hope for next time, can't I? ;)
DLKmusic 24th Nov 2018, 6:07 PM edit delete reply
@Comic Fan: you have a couple of very valid arguments here, and I would like to address them if I may.

the argument of Intent is certainly valid, and I agree with you on that point. There are other things to consider in this case though.

LL did have strong evidence that NC's powers are tied to this staff, and NC is a match to LL in power. That makes this staff an extremely dangerous artifact. immediately destroying something like that would be considered "Criminally Negligent" in any court. My guess from last page was that it might loose a Nether Lord. Other possibilities are that it could've exploded, taking the town with it. or open a vortex to hell that can't be closed. There were other possibilities as well, all of them very bad. Killing or vegetating NC is actually the best possible consequence of a list of very bad possible consequences. (with that in mind, I don't personally feel that NC was lying, but that's a different subject).

Regarding the issue of self sacrifice, If LL had immediately flown off with the staff and taken it to an isolated area (ie" bikini Island") and then destroyed it, your argument might stand, but self sacrifice does not mean potentially sacrificing everyone else around you as well.

Whether or not NC is human is completely irrelevant, and whether or not she is lying about the staff is all the more reason why we need to find out more about it.

Lastly, you said "If she can't take that risk, then maybe she's not TRULY taking risk/making sacrifice and maybe is a little bit less deserving of KEEPING the gift of the Spirit of 1776." My argument to that is that the Primary reason she was given this gift is to protect the Life, Liberty and Happiness of others. Take Risks as needed, but protect others first. That to me is a no-brainer.

As a side note, I do agree with you about TJ's actions. but in keeping with my argument, his actions didn't endanger others, only himself. TJ deserves all the love for his role here, he was awesome!

I'll stop talking now..

(TJ Rocks)
Cuddle Lion 24th Nov 2018, 10:20 PM edit delete reply
Cuddle Lion
I must further respectfully disagree with Comic Fan, on 7 points.
1 - Whether the staff was broken before or after NC said anything is immaterial; Abbey already had a moral choice on her hands. Perhaps not raised to the level of murder, but NC's interjection only crystallized the choice as a difference of degree, not kind.
2 - NC has the right to due process as a self aware intelligence, human or not.
3. Ignorance of the law is no excuse; not expecting a penalty for doing something wrong, just because you didn't KNOW it would DEFINITELY cause harm, doesn't make it right.
4 - Whether or not NC is lying is not up to Abby to decide, with evidence lacking. Just THINKING that NC is lying isn't enough to deprive her of her rights.
5 - Abby losing her powers as a result of her actions would NOT be a noble sacrifice, it would be a tragedy, not for her so much, but for all the people she might have saved, all the wrongs she could right. Breaking the staff would have been foolhardy and short sighted. I am glad Libby was neither. It was more of a risk to act out of fear that NC's staff might someday cause harm in the future, and possibly lose her powers, than to forbear in the name of justice.
6 - As to comparative risk of sacrifice, the fact that TJ had the courage to jump in and try to save his sister is NOT more of a sacrifice than Abby's risk every time she jumps in to dangerous situations, or being "more willing" than Abby. She is willing at every opportunity, can handle them, and the powers were given to her so that she might handle even more dangerous situations. As we saw in this episode, she was definitely not immune to that danger. She is and will be a target for evil from now on. And what of her motives? Some vague sense of right and wrong? No. She wants to protect TJ, her family, her friends, community, and country, maybe more. She bears the real heart of a hero.
And 7 - NC getting her comeuppance would be gratifying - but giving her wounds or scars on purpose, with Abby an indirect accessory? That's petty, and beneath her.
DLKmusic 25th Nov 2018, 4:16 AM edit delete reply
another major point that we are all missing in this thread though is that LL showed mercy on NC because NC showed mercy on TJ. Whatever other legal or moral arguments we may make, that is a HUGE point on this page.

(I know I said I was done, but sometimes I don't know when to shut up)
Cuddle Lion 25th Nov 2018, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Cuddle Lion
That's right DKLmusic, Libby is merciful, and was reminded of that by TJ's survival of the confrontation - I believe she still would have thought to make the choice to spare NC, but it would have been a harder think - one more reason why having a loving family brings out the best in all of us.
Comic Fan 25th Nov 2018, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
Excellent points, all. Thank you for engaging in the conversation and humoring my premises. You have given me much to think about and I appreciate that. I guess I wouldn't want to blow up the city; that would be kind of bad. But remember, NightChantress was ready to do a lot worse.

Oh, and for her role in this? Yes, I would be petty to NC. OMG yes, I would be petty. But maybe my pettiness is actually not so petty. I'm an observer of the human condition. Again, making assumptions about NC being human, and in my observations (and with statistics backing me up), criminals will re-offend without some kind of stiff (and I do mean stiff) penalty, comeuppance, or at least a big bad dream (A Christmas Story, perhaps?) to make them see the light and change their evil ways.

Maybe that would come with a brush w/death, a long jail sentence, or seeing the face of God. Disappointing one's father can be a big deal for little boys, and can cause a big change in attitude. Maybe.

Part of me has hopes that a torn miniscus or that bad hangnail could even be the cause of an epiphany, but I have no evidence of that. ;)

Steven can do what he wants with these characters, of course, but all else being the same, the odds greatly favor that we'll see NightChantress again, and she won't be volunteering for food drives, math tutoring the underprivileged, or running a Jaycees soccer league. And we won't likely see her serving the homeless in a soup kitchen. But one can hope, yes? :O :D
DLKmusic 25th Nov 2018, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
@Comic Fan: " the odds greatly favor that we'll see NightChantress again, and she won't be volunteering for food drives, math tutoring the underprivileged, or running a Jaycees soccer league."

I'm of two minds on this. I completely agree with that statement, and that's a shame. With regards to the storytelling though, you couldn't possibly ask for a better "Joker" to LL's "Batman". NightChantress is the perfect Arch-Rival, IMHO.
Steven-Vincent 25th Nov 2018, 9:49 PM edit delete reply
Wow lots of great comments while I was driving home from my Thanksgiving break. I can't possibly answer them all.

But here are a few things...

A. Nightchantress is human. She's actually an American citizen, although that couldn't possibly matter the slightest to the story we have here.

B. Abby's reaction here is, as was said above, partly decided by the fact that NC spared TJ.

C. No one has mentioned this but, we have some indications here that NC is a fairly honorable person as villains go. She first tried to put LL in a coma rather than killing her although Kludge paid for murder. Then when she could have killed TJ she spared him. This suggests that, by not breaking the staff, LL has now put NC in her debt. Given NC's behavior as shown, this is not a trivial thing -- NC wouldn't just ignore it the next time the two of them would meet.

D. NC is not the arch-enemy here. Kludge is. He hasn't appeared in a while so it's easy to forget, but NC is just a hired gun. Note, however, that although Abby knows NC was hired, she doesn't know who hired her. Yet.

Glad this story generated so much commentary.
Comic Fan 26th Nov 2018, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
Good stories will (and should) cause the reader to think. And being able to talk about it here is kind of like having a book club. That is a good thing, for sure. And I believe it wouldn't be possible without the first and most important things:

* Good character development
* Enaging situations and stories for those characters

You've provided both, Steven; and that's the whole reason I come back regularly. I love good stories, something that much of Hollywood no longer knows how to do. My evidence for that is all the reality shows out there, for which there are actual scripts. If it's reality, then why would you need script writers?

And now they have some show about people who marry inmates, then act surprised when things go badly after they get out of jail and don't know how to assimilate into society. That is not good storytelling; it's just putting society's ills on display, and it's not worth my time.

What you're doing is good storytelling. This is worth my time.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, Steven!
Cuddle Lion 26th Nov 2018, 8:03 PM edit delete reply
Cuddle Lion
Hmm, yes, I agree that NC is they type who will need an epiphany to really change - the fact that LL spared her might be the first step in her 'christmas carol' journey; sort of the first visit by the ghost of Jacob Marley, if you will. That would be an interesting storyline too! But I wouldn't want to write it myself. yikes.
DLKmusic 26th Nov 2018, 8:35 PM edit delete reply
Interesting thought though... NC is a reformed villain now working with Aegis... Sending villains to hell by using the powers of hell!

food for thought if you ever feel like doing vignettes between comics, SV!
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