24

Brannigan, p8

December 14, 2022 by Tim


Subscribe
Notify of
guest

113 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vincent Price
Vincent Price
1 month ago

I really gotta reread the back issues of this series again.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Vincent Price

I have and I saw this coming at the start of the story line. The lies and lack of trust was a death-nell for the team and possibly for humanity. Scott’s attitude and choices may very well spell the end of humanity and trigger the apocalypse that was shown in the first run of the comic at the very end of it. In that case it was a mistake done by Ethan that triggered the end. He reactivated Zeke’s girlfriend and she modified Zeke’s programming to start it. Ethan sacrificed himself to stop it from ever happening.

evilleet
evilleet
1 month ago
Reply to  Vincent Price

And they are available in comic book form. 🙂 *hint hint hint*

Merida
Merida
1 month ago

I cannot help but think that is not acquiescence, but the other shoe about to drop – rage walkout, bombshell mic drop, or something else.

Esc
Esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

Totally agreed.

Martin J
Martin J
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

I’m afraid you’re right, but I truly hope you’re wrong. Understanding (and to a certain extent accepting) Scott’s viewpoint would be the most mature thing Ethan ever (?) has done, and would probably the starting point to attempt to reconcile their differences – at least if Scott can do the same, and give Zeke a real, fair chance of proofing themselves not to be a threat. Whether Zeke will ever agree / trust such an offer is another question entirely of course…

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

Or, the next frame is Zeke sitting outside of the window, listening to him.

Mailar
Mailar
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

the ‘you’re not the man i thought you were’ line comes to mind

Fade
Fade
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

Zeke pulls off the elan mask…

Graham Best
Graham Best
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

No, actually. Ethan withdrew after the delivery girl mocked him for claiming to be a superhero. He doesn’t agree with Scott, but he is ashamed that he can respawn and no one else can.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  Merida

That’s because it’s Wednesday, not Friday.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Tim loves giving us something to chew on over the weekend.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 month ago

“Not of all us can respawn” is a good argument, because shows that while Ethan can try to keep going to change Zeke’s heart giving his life without fear, almost the rest of the world don’t have the opportunity. “A few months of good behaviour”… that’s a more difficult to be agree with, in that moment Zeke haven’t really free will (the menace of being destroyed) and still is possible that they know they can go full lethal with Ethan but not with Lucas (and for that reason Lucas is here still) due to the information stored by the Master.… Read more »

Powell
Powell
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

Ultimately it boiled down to trust. It’s ok to have different standards/value but Scott should have told Ethan his plans and set standards on what would be acceptable to him as evidence that Zeke is reformed. If Ethan doesn’t agree, at least Scott will have higher moral high ground to then say he tried to compromise and refuse to defuse the bomb. Ethan won’t be able to defuse the bomb anyway by himself and neither can Zeke and hence Scott always have the advantage in all negotiations anyway. Can’t help but feel Scott has good reasons to be cautious but… Read more »

Fafnir13
Fafnir13
1 month ago
Reply to  Powell

Ethan could be characterized as not being the most reliable and reasonable person. He’s always been a bit of a goofy loose canon. This discussion is putting him in serious mode right now, but I could understand someone having reservations about trusting him.

ocramot
ocramot
1 month ago
Reply to  Fafnir13

Ethan is way less goofier than before the reboot, though.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  ocramot

That bit where he got tased four times when jumping out of an alley while in costume for sone game he was excited about says otherwise.

Giraldi
Giraldi
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I definitely feel like 2.0 Ethan is more mature and well-rounded than 1.0 Ethan. The fact that Ethan is able to have this conversation is a testament to 2.0 Ethan’s maturity. Are there still aspects of 1.0 Ethan in 2.0 Ethan, sure, but 2.0 Ethan is definitely significantly less goofy than 1.0 Ethan. Also, if I remember correctly, when the reboot happened Tim made a news post about why he was rebooting the series, and one of the big reasons why was that certain aspects of 1.0 Ethan’s character limited his ability to tell stories the way he had come… Read more »

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Powell

Ethan’s an idiot, a truly clueless optimist. He mistakes Zeke’s actions as truly wanting to change, when it’s entirely possible he’s playing along. He didn’t have a skeptical bone in his body. He honestly never wanted to believe that, but it’s obvious that Zeke was still a threat. What happens if he loses his temper someday, or if someone bumps into him by accident? How do they know that Zeke wouldn’t immediately decide he had to defend himself?

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago

You can literally say that about ANYONE! What happens if Deathblood loses his temper? Forget the comic, you can say that in REALITY!!

Devilboy
Devilboy
1 month ago

How do we know those things about you?

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Guys, Jonathan can’t be trusted, we should sign him up for the Suicide Squad and let Amanda Waller deal with him.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

As I think Ethan might be about to point out, the safeguard isn’t necessarily the issue. It’s AN issue, but not the biggest one.

The big issue is the fact that Scott lied about the safeguard. To both of them. And it was that lie that caused the bomb to go off. He told Lucas and Ethan it was deactivated, because he (wrongly) believed that he and he alone knew what the right thing to do was.

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

No, he told them he’d take care of it. Or that they didn’t neeed to worry about it, something along those lines. He never explicitly lied to them, he let them hear what they wanted to hear. Scott was the only one looking at it logically.

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago

In the words of the great Jean-Luc Picard, “a lie of omission is still a lie.”

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

It’s still a lie. He pretty much led them in the direction that he was going to disable the bomb. You don’t do that to your family, best friends, and team because trust is vitally important when it’s these groups of people.

Sian
Sian
1 month ago

Deliberately misspeak with the intention of making someone believe you said something else, is arguably worse than flat out lying

Eric the White
Eric the White
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

Yes but none of the violence that Scott is referring to is really on Zeke, the first ones are when he was under the Master’s influence and control, and the others were self-defense. Since they gave Zeke the use of his legs back he hasn’t engaged in any unacceptable violence.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

We can’t know what the master had told Zeke or what he programed him to feel. The fact that Zeke was able to fear for his life alone should of carried weight with Scott like it did with Lucas. But no, Scott let his fear of Zeke going postal for no reason lead him to make the worse mistake of his life, and now he’s trying to justify that mistake. Ask the guy that shot and killed his own kid because he thought he was a burglar, the same type of thinking.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 month ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

Yes, but not so like feeling but for information, Zeke knew that Ethan could respawn (for that reason some measures are taken when hold captive) but Lucas not. So, they decided to go full letal with Ethan, while with Lucas was “well, if he is dead is dead, if doesn’t…not my problem” instead to go for the “kill and rekill” and save problems for later.
So, in a way, Zeke decided with the information they had, who to kill and who to left “just” wounded and unchecked.
It was feelings? It was being practic? This only Zeke (and Tim) knows.

DontBeThatGuy
DontBeThatGuy
1 month ago

…………..uh-oh……………

Seph
Seph
1 month ago
Reply to  DontBeThatGuy

you beat me… i though (and felt) the same way XD

R77
R77
1 month ago

The key question is … if a few months of good behaviour doesn’t cut it, what would? How do you evaluate change? How do you evaluate programming versus life?

Ethan and Scott clearly have different standards, but I am not certain Scott can honestly say that he has an answer to the above questions.

: I applaud you, this story line is one of the best I’ve seen in a comic. This is some pretty damn good writing. Thanks for the entertainment!

Sir Guestelot
Sir Guestelot
1 month ago
Reply to  R77

It’s also worth pointing out that the functionality here wasn’t truly that of a safeguard, it was that of a trap. It was not something that would go off if Zeke did something dangerous, violent, or that otherwise indicated recidivism. It was a killswitch set to go off if he walked outside of his prison cell for any reason. As neither he nor his guards were apprised of this fact, this led to his guards to unwittingly encourage him to trigger it with what both the wardens and the prisoner believed to be not only acceptable behavior, but serving a… Read more »

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  R77

I agree and it approaches a topic that is a huge one in real life, the treatment of convicts after they serve their time. A man makes a huge mistake and spends years of his life in jail for that mistake. But when he gets out he’s labeled and can’t get work, home, or lead a normal life because of that label. No matter what his behavure is now it doesn’t matter because he made that mistake and is never allowed to live it down. So as in many cases they have no other choice but to return to crime… Read more »

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

The philosophy behind jail differs greatly between countries. There are a few main reasons for putting people into prison: Rehabilitate people so they can turn away from crime Protect society from harm Revenge for the crime Deter other people from doing the same, due to the stigma The USA for example, leans heavily on the last two points. So there is a huge stigma even after convicts got out. There are also material problems for ex-convicts, like housing being limited to non-ex-convicts or employers who turn down all ex-convicts. Here in Austria (not Australia) the focus is more on the… Read more »

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

I have known people that had spent time in jail and I seen how people, not law enforcement, treat convicts. It doesn’t matter what that person did or didn’t do, or that they paid for that mistake with their very future, just the fact they were in jail for something. Harassed, accused, and shown only hatred. Sure, violent crimanals need to be supervised, it’s called parole, but how does a man on parole get a job when no one will hire them? It’s a violation if they don’t work. What about the non-violent ones? They get the same treatment, no… Read more »

Soag
Soag
1 month ago

Only one thing came to my mind recently regarding CAD-comic.
I feel like it would be beneficial for me as a reader to leave the comic for a while and read it in bigger chunks later on for the same of taking in the story.
I find it easier to focus on the events when there’s not so much time dividing them and recently feel more and more of that ‘I’d actually need to re-read some stuff to grasp the concepts better’.
Which might be a sign of a more coherently written story, which is a good thing.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Soag

Yeah, I had a bit of a flash when Scott said “a couple months”. In real time, it’s been almost 3 years since they put Zeke into the store room.

Someone Else
Someone Else
1 month ago

Yeh I get it now….
Queue up the misdirect, and now he says that they can’t trust each other or whatever.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago

Yeah the neck snap thing only happened because you a blew a hole in Zeke’s head, you dick.

Also, the other time Ethan got killed and the two times Lucas almost got killed were under duress of the Master blowing a hole in their head otherwise, you dick.

Oh and you told Lucas you’d modify the safeguard and you didn’t, you dick.

Scott’s a dick, if I didn’t make my thoughts clear.

Gensan
Gensan
1 month ago

Huh, you’re right. The neck snap didn’t happen until after the bomb went off. It was pure, proportional retaliation.

They didn’t kill or maim anyone since they have been free of the Master’s slavery.

Damion
Damion
1 month ago
Reply to  Gensan

And, iirc, after the neck snap Zeke flipped out from remorse and ran away. That’s solid evidence of change right there.

chargersfan
chargersfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Damion

Not to mention that Zeke could have gone after Scott in that moment, but didnt, likely out of respect to Ethan. I think if he was really as murderous as Scott believes, Scott would be dead by now, whether it was in that moment in the store, or in the days/weeks following.

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Gensan

It wasn’t even retaliation, it was a panic-induced accident.

Gensan
Gensan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaysburn

After reading it again, I completely agree with you. It wasn’t even malicious.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago

And the bomb only happened because they turned their store room into a makeshift kidnapper’s cell instead of turning Zeke over to the authorities. If Zeke was a human, kidnapping them and locking them into the store room for months on end, would be morally really reprehensible. And if they were a human being it wouldn’t be between letting them go and keeping them in their store room, but it would be a clear-cut “hand them over to the police to let our actual legal system and police deal with them”. Imagine them keeping the troll locked up in their… Read more »

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

Yeah, the big thing is that Scott lied to Ethan and especially Lucas. I can understand Scott and Lucas not telling Ethan that the bomb would remain, Ethan is so optimistically naive that he would tell Zeke about the bomb and Zeke’s behavior would be altered by that information so you can’t tell if he is truly not a threat to humanity. They had the majority in that decision but when Lucas decided the bomb should be removed because he thought Zeke was genuinely not a threat, Scott was no longer in the majority on the decision to keep the… Read more »

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago

Scott’s safeguard is murder, in case anyone didn’t catch that from his logic.
And he would do it again, not just to Zeke, if he gets the chance.

Pretty damn close to being a full vigilante, or even a villain.

Cyrad
Cyrad
1 month ago

Scott can rationalize all he wants, but ZK trusted him. Scott betrayed that trust.

PhobosRising
PhobosRising
1 month ago
Reply to  Cyrad

I don’t think zk trusted him, zk trusted that Ethan’s trust in Scott was well-founded.

BlueGriffin
BlueGriffin
1 month ago

No it doesn’t erase. But there is a whole justice system about time served, getting out for good behavior, and reform. (No I’m not getting into a discussions about the the failures and successes of that system.) Yes, Zeke’s crime was murder and a slew of other charges, but that was under orders and another list of complications and factors. You never consider change could have happened and your expected outcome happened only after you provoked it.

Eric the White
Eric the White
1 month ago
Reply to  BlueGriffin

I think Zeke is only culpable for Attempted Murder. Its hard to know what a court would think of Ethan. He’s been murdered many times, but here is is testifying on court anyhow.

BlueGriffin
BlueGriffin
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric the White

I was thinking about the possible number of civilians/guards/and others he might have killed during his employment under the Master.

Last edited 1 month ago by BlueGriffin
Quaza
Quaza
1 month ago
Reply to  BlueGriffin

That number is (presumably) zero. The Master did not let him kill civilians. https://cad-comic.com/comic/analog-and-d-pad-05-19/

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  BlueGriffin

I felt this was a setup unconsciously done by Scott, he did say he’d adjust the limits on Zeke and didn’t. It was a crappy situation the entire time, Ethan had hopes of saving Zeke, Lucas was starting to see what Ethan was saying, and Scott refusing to believe his own eyes and ears to what was happening to Zeke. Even if he intended to keep his word, his delay caused what happen and what may happen from here on out. When he realizes what he’s done, it will wreck his just as surely as if Zeke had attacked him.… Read more »

Alex Gratton
Alex Gratton
1 month ago

Zeke is a potential Deathblood, but for humanity… wouldn’t Ethan like to contain Deathblood? This is great writing, incredibly deep story and philosophy. Love it.

Damion
Damion
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Gratton

OR: Zeke is a potential savior. For everyone. Would it not be worth it to take a big risk for such a huge reward?

Alex Gratton
Alex Gratton
1 month ago
Reply to  Damion

True, he could be the first AI to help humanity’s science expand beyond our imagination, or he could become skynet and try to kill Sarah Conor in the past. Since Zeke is not bound by azymov’s laws, I am not sure it is worth the risk. That is where it is a great conflict: is Zeke more killing machine, as his coding is supposed to be, or is he more like a human that was coerced to kill and thus, deserve a shot at salvation? I am a gambler in life, but not a gambler at life: I would not… Read more »

Bubble181
Bubble181
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Gratton

“He could be the next Hitler or he could be the next Ghandi” is true of literally every baby born. Congratulations, you’ve put yourself on a course for justifying mass murder.

Alex Gratton
Alex Gratton
1 month ago
Reply to  Bubble181

Not every human has the potential to be both. It would mean they all have the same birth conditions, parents, religions, etc… Plus, we are not juging babies here, who have done absolutely nothing to be judged about. We are talking about a (1) specific machine (not human until proven otherwise) coded for murder with a history of murder, anger issues and god complex. If he reforms and change his ways, he could be great. But we cannot compare him with a harmless baby with no knowledge or emotions. You are right on one thing: mass murder to prevent stuff… Read more »

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago

So by Scott’s logic anyone who serves a prison sentence should have an explosive chip in them? Does he seriously believe no one is capable of rehabilitation or redemption?

Look at Cassandra Cain, literally raised as an assassin from childhood, never taught or learned what morality is or the difference between right and wrong. Once Bruce realized that it changed his entire mindset towards her because he realized that it was a case of someone who didn’t know anything else, not a case of someone willingly choosing to do what they were doing.

Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenju

So by Scott’s logic anyone who serves a prison sentence should have an explosive chip in them”
I think we have an entire series about that. It’s called Suicide Squad.

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

And, as they are told every time they are let out “Should you complete your objective and return alive your remaining sentence will be reduced by X years.”

Depending on the continuity you are reading there *are* members of the Squad that actually fulfilled their sentence and were released, with the exploding chip removed when they did as was the case with Harley Quinn.

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenju

Most times, people who commit crimes go right back to committing them. The thing is, prison only teaches most of them “DON’T GET CAUGHT”. Sad but true.

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago

That is not a 100% certainty however. There are a number of European countries that offer free collage courses to inmates serving nonlife sentences to give them an opportunity at making a living for themselves, even arranging job interviews upon release. These countries also happen to have very low repeat criminals. In the USA that is not the case as those sorts of programs only exist in very *very* limited capacity. So after serving years in prison they are on their own and have even less opportunity than they did before curtesy of now having a criminal record, continuing to… Read more »

citationbot
citationbot
1 month ago

Citation needed. Saying “sad but true” doesn’t make your statement true, providing evidence does.

Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago

Perfect writing! In panel 2 Ethan doesn’t need to say anything else. He just uses silence and it finally hits Scott finally gets it. His beliefs and reasoning won’t change Ethan and he finally sees what he’s about to lose.

FITSniper
FITSniper
1 month ago

Still #TeamLucas

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago

Next Panel : Ethan “Getting It” while simultaneously not getting it but also getting it in a way that skewers Scott

Mr_Meng
Mr_Meng
1 month ago

‘Not all of us can respawn!’ is as much a mic drop as Ethan’s line in the previous comic.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr_Meng
Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr_Meng

It’s a good line, but not a smart one. That’s because Scott is targeting one of Ethan’s obvious sore spots. Did Ethan ask for these powers or act arrogantly because of them? No. Also, should Ethan automatically be wrong because his powers? No. You could easily argue that his feeling the pain caused by death so often makes his opinion more valuable and not less.

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

Thing is, Scott is pointing out, that he really doesn’t value life as much as he should, now that he is effectively immortal. He’s beginning to see death as a utility, and seems to forget that others cannot respawn so easily. That others have to respond to threats with more caution.

Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago

You have some… interesting interpretations about Ethan. You say he “doesn’t value life” instead of “doesn’t value his life”. He is “beginning to see death as a utility.” No, he’s using his ability as an asset, or a crutch just like many other heroes. “respawn so easily” this one is confusing, when has he assumed anyone else could respawn? Plus he’s never knowingly, or intentionally put others in harm’s way. He uses himself as a decoy to draw fire because it protects Lucas and civilians alike. Maybe I need to reread the archives, because none of these arguments make any… Read more »

Bubba
Bubba
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

Plus he’s never knowingly, or intentionally put others in harm’s way.

He put the entire human race in harm’s way by keeping ZK functional. It has the capability and programming directive to kill/enslave humanity.
That was both known and intentional to try to gain Zeek’s trust.

Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Bubba

Sure, ZK’s got that capability in our universe. However in this universe? I’m not so sure. We haven’t seen enough to know what kind of power levels exist in this universe. I’m not saying it’s Marvel or DC level, but unless this is the only city with supers (doubt it) then ZK wouldn’t be a world ending threat.

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

I imagine someone that can write off immediate and non-natural death or disability even if they have to still go through the pain of it has a certain and different kind of view on mortality that might cloud their judgement when it comes to other people’s own arithmetic of the same, yes.

What, you think someone who used his body as a shield in front of BloodMurderGun might occasionally overlook that?

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaitensatsuma
Arcslayer
Arcslayer
1 month ago
Reply to  Kaitensatsuma

“I Imagine”, “can write off”, “might cloud”, “might occasionally”. Look at the language you’ve used. Please show real times when Ethan is guilty of any of your claims.
Otherwise you’re just apealing to ignorance.

MusicManD
MusicManD
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

No matter what, we’re all just reading between the lines. Leaning into the video game counterpart, you probably play a game differently when you can quick save and respawn versus a game in hardcore mode where death means starting over from scratch. The knowledge that death is not permanent changes your risk management.

It’s a reasonable assumption that Ethan’s personal risk aversion is going to be different as a result of his power. The bigger question is just how much this bleeds into his broader decision making, especially where it concerns others.

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago
Reply to  Arcslayer

I like to call it “Writing like I’m Captain Obvious”

Dadraik
Dadraik
1 month ago

I remember when I started reading this coming… like 18 years ago… So lighthearted and silly… Now you give me the feels and make my brain do the thinks and I’m either upset or grateful, or maybe both…

nice job

Giraldi
Giraldi
1 month ago
Reply to  Dadraik

As someone who regularly re-reads the comics, it’s always amazing to me how much Tim’s storytelling has improved in the last twenty years. I enjoy the 1.0 stories because of the goofiness, but the storytelling in 2.0 is on an entirely different level.

Damion
Damion
1 month ago

This is great. “Getting it” isn’t the same as agreeing with it. I wonder if Scott can grasp that at the current juncture.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

20 years.. i really cant believe i has been reading these for that long. i know i missed a lot over the years due to life but still 20 years

jonathan corbett
jonathan corbett
1 month ago

THANK YOU, Scott, for pointing out what a naive fool Ethan was being. Zeke could easily just have been faking all of that, for all he knew, or maybe Zeke was just one tiny imaginary slight from turning homicidal again. They needed the safeguard…. There’s a reason that you don’t forgive a criminal just because they show remorse. Chances are, they’re showing remorse only because they got caught, or because they know they’re expected to. Once they think they’re in the clear, nearly all criminals will return to their old ways. You can’t really change a person in real life… Read more »

playing it safe
playing it safe
1 month ago

Lucky for humanity, you’re wrong about this.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago

That type of thinking is why very few criminals ever go to a normal life. Someone that’s spent 20+ years in jail for a stupid mistake can never get away from that mistake and are labeled so they can never get decent work, home, family. Most become bitter and return to crime since it’s the only way (they think) they have a chance to survive. Zeke is now in that very same position thanks to Scott’s way of thinking.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

Oh, Ethan is a naive fool, but Scott is an even bigger fool that didn’t even trust his best friends/teammates.

Ceomyr
Ceomyr
1 month ago

Tim you’ve really impressed me as a writer. Your stories and character interactions are showing a lot more thought than most these days. Scott is correct that he’s compromised but he didn’t act openly. Scott is correct that people or AI may not truly change, and even if they do it doesn’t necessary erase their misdeeds or mean we shouldn’t protect ourselves. However some of those near death experiences were a result of the robot’s programming, upbringing, and being forced to do so. Still, we don’t know how much this robot truly believed in violent supremacy over humanity. We don’t… Read more »

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Ceomyr

Yes I had mentioned that in the last comic. Zeke will now no doubt go back to the master’s workshop to repair himself (and kill the master as well) and use the resources there to start building his robot army. If Ethan figures that out he’ll be walking into a hotbed of terror at best, repeated killing at the very least. That might slow Zeke’s plans but won’t stop him.

Del Cox
Del Cox
1 month ago

I continue to be surprised just how legitimately interested I am in this conversation.

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

If Scott hadn’t left the bomb in place, it wouldn’t have gone off when Zeke left the back room. Zeke wouldn’t have been triggered, therefore the sequence of events leading to them snapping Ethan’s neck wouldn’t have happened. Technically that one’s on Scott.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

If they hadn’t brought Zeke to the store room to imprison them there illegally.

Which happened only because of Ethan. The right thing to do would have been to hand Zeke over to the authorities.

But Ethan wanted to keep Zeke, so they kept them.

Jetroid
Jetroid
1 month ago

The artwork in this arc is gorgeous.

Joel
Joel
1 month ago

Scott makes some really great arguments, and none of them excuse him not talking to Ethan about it or following through with the agreement to disable it. In both cases he’s broken trust with his crew, and for me that’s the more inexcusable part of it all.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joel
WildBlueJ
WildBlueJ
1 month ago

I’ve gotta say I’ve enjoyed this script so far. This is a tough issue, and it seems so often authors (for sake of expediting the story) only present one side and make a scarecrow of the other just to knock it down. Props to you Tim for making both characters’ perspectives believable.

Last edited 1 month ago by WildBlueJ
Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago

Yeah Ethan gets it now, That Scott doesn’t trust him and never will. Scott is jealous of Ethan’s ability to respawn and that makes resent Ethan. Yes he can be flighty and Ethan knows that, but he was trying to make Zeke feel free of the master’s control and that not all humans were bad. And he was having success! Zeke was made to hurt and kill people involved with Microsoft and Xbox, nothing more. Zeke becoming self-aware wasn’t in the master’s plan or expectations. He became hateful of humans only because of the master’s actions and orders, judging us… Read more »

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
1 month ago

I think that’s the most serious expression/body language I’ve ever seen on one of your characters, Tim. It really adds to the weight of the moment.

ShonaSoF
ShonaSoF
1 month ago

A side of this that gets buried under the debate of Zeke’s sapience and intentions, is Zeke’s actual opinion of humanity. Ethan wasn’t just trying to show that Zeke could learn, he was also trying to prove Zeke wrong about people, the same way he’s trying to prove Zeke to Scott. Scott completely undermined Ethan’s efforts in that regard by proving Zeke right, and I think Ethan’s realizing that he no longer has the chance to convince either of them. Deathblood was just a streamlined example of how he sees himself failing with both Zeke and Scott. It feels like… Read more »

Dragon Turtle
Dragon Turtle
1 month ago

I believe in safeguards. A bomb in the head isn’t that though. It’s a kill shot. Couldn’t you have planted a bomb in the knees, Scott? Or just used something that flipped the Off switch?

Robert L
Robert L
1 month ago
Reply to  Dragon Turtle

He didn’t plant the bomb, and couldn’t remove it, just disable it. That said he was capable of sending a signal from his phone to disable motor functions, He could have had his phone set to do that if he left the room. I guess Scott doesnt have IFTTT in his world.

Devilboy
Devilboy
1 month ago

And there we have the two points that make Scott’s position untenable.

He couldn’t tell Ethan because Ethan would tell Zeke, and his ‘safeguards’ were lethal.

There was no peaceful outcome. There was no possibility of Zeke ‘doing the right thing’.

He could fairly trivially have made the ‘safeguard’ non-lethal and disabled Zeke’s motor functions if he left the room. But he chose not to.

MusicManD
MusicManD
1 month ago
Reply to  Devilboy

It would be pretty easy to explain this- the bomb clearly would have been fit with wifi for The Master to engage it. Easy enough to repurpose. The motor functions might require a hardwired connection.

anonimous
anonimous
1 month ago

great ark, some deep shit here, tnx for the contemplations

Greevar
Greevar
1 month ago

Now Scott is just doubling down instead of admitting he is wrong. “The sound your neck made when it snapped says otherwise.” Zeke’s response was perfectly reasonable given the attempted murder from the undisclosed functionality of the bomb. It was self preservation. Scott is wrong to use that as justification for his argument. It’s a shitty thing to do and shows he has lost the moral argument. Zeke’s act of violence in their store was caused by the bomb Scott set to trigger because he decided his judgement was superior to everyone else. Everything he did to Zeke was not… Read more »

Lincoln
Lincoln
1 month ago

Let us not forget that in the very FIRST of these drinking-together panels, Scott calls Deathblood a MURDERER. For killing criminals.

Who had killed Ethan… HOW MANY times? Was it four or five times? So by that logic, Deathblood was pretty much OBLIGATED to kill them.

SO, given that Scott does NOT apply this reasoning to Deathblood’s actions, his reasoning is NOT sound as it is applied inconsistently.

I wonder if that was Tim’s intention by having them kill Ethan multiple times?

Alex Gratton
Alex Gratton
1 month ago
Reply to  Lincoln

Yeah, it feels like the Punisher’s dilema. Probably Scott believes that Deathblood is a lesser evil compared to the people he kills. That still makes Deathblood a murderer and Scott knows it.

Lincoln
Lincoln
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Gratton

True. Yet Scott doesn’t consider himself a murderer… which, again, shows his reasoning is faulty.

MusicManD
MusicManD
1 month ago

It’s tempting to anthropomorphize Zeke, but it’s important to remember that everything they are doing is simulated. Emotion is born of chemical reactions in organic brains. Zeke doesn’t have either. Any reactions that appear to be driven by emotion are programmed to simulate emotion, as could be any depth of other programming. They could be a spy for The Master and even Zeke might not know it until he leaves the store and the “return to base and report in” directive kicks in. As semi-omniscient observers, we see Zeke’s conversations with themselves. We see their stuggles to make sense out… Read more »

Sphyrwa
Sphyrwa
1 month ago

I’m expecting a “You’re not wrong…. You’re bat-shit insane!” moment from Metal Gear Rising here now lol.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Wow. Well then.

Jack0r
Jack0r
1 month ago

Huh, that’s an interesting aspect. In real-world time, Zeke was in the storage room since February 2020, almost 3 years now. In universe it’s been “a couple months”. “a couple” is hard to quantify, but it’s not long. That puts a completely different spin on things. If I spend a lot of time with someone for 3 years, I tend to know them decently well. But a few months aren’t enough to even judge if someone is a total psychopath. And I would venture to say that this kind of judgement is even harder when the other person isn’t a… Read more »

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack0r

That’s twice now someone said that they should of turned over Zeke and washed their hands of it. There’s a problem with that idea and it had a lot to do with Scott’s thinking as well. How long do you think it would be before some military type got wind of Zeke and forced the legal system to turn him over to him? If they didn’t do it themselves! Think about it, an entire army of Zeke’s, sharing his mind set, being sent out in the world to do the very same thing that the master was doing with Zeke… Read more »

Ace5762
Ace5762
1 month ago

Ah, I sense a “Yes, you’re right, we should just *strawman argument*” coming