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24

Tipping Point, p14

May 15, 2024 by Tim


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Bob
Bob
10 days ago

Quite a step up from being afraid of sharp corners of a table

Dr DoobieDo
Dr DoobieDo
10 days ago
Reply to  Bob

He can’t ignore the hero in him

Ashi
Ashi
9 days ago
Reply to  Bob

He’s going off instinct here – no time to think about mortality.

Zar
Zar
10 days ago

ooh boy Scott is going to have a PTSD flashback

Daniel
Daniel
9 days ago
Reply to  Zar

O **** I didn’t see it coming

Blue Griffin
Blue Griffin
10 days ago

Now here’s an interesting thing. Zeke knows about Ethan’s powers, BUT may not know about Ethan’s Schrödinger’s cat state of powers. So if they fire and it doesn’t instantly respawn him, what’s Zeke’s reaction to possibly killing his arguably favorite flesh bag?

atlachan
atlachan
10 days ago
Reply to  Blue Griffin

Batman TAS had an episode “His silicon soul”, where there was an Robot that was programmed to act like Batman.Moment that robot thought he had killed someone, guilt drove him into sacrificing himself to save the city. This made batman wonder, “could it be it had a soul, a soul of silicone, but soul nonetheless”

Perhaps Zeke freaks out, (and rushes to save Ethan?), leaving Scott similarly to wonder if Zeke might actually be more than a robot.

Smith
Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  atlachan

I called it. Maybe not this specific scenario, but I called it. And someone decided ‘Oh, that sounds implausible’ and mocked me for it. But this is a setup for ‘I can just kill you and kill him anyway, you’ll respawn’ and then Ethan doesn’t respawn properly and Zeke freaks out.

Dagroth
Dagroth
10 days ago
Reply to  Smith

Zeke remembers Ethan’s deaths hurt, though.
If they have any empathy (which considering the scene where Zeke remembered it, after the bomb went off, I think they might), they might be relecutant to kill him just like that.

SJPadbury
SJPadbury
10 days ago
Reply to  Dagroth

Or, Ethan will respawn, be visibly relieved that his powers work again, Zeke realizes that Ethan was willing to put himself really on the line, not his normal “no consequences” version of it, and really stops to think.

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
9 days ago
Reply to  Smith

I do not mind theory crafting and the like, but 1. If people do not agree they can justifiably give counter arguments and 2. I personally am against trying to put yourself on a pedestal if you are right. Besides, if you have read the comments this was a theory of day one for many here. This is because it is a pretty standard superhero beat. (Possibly) lose powers, put hero in situation they need powers. Triggers superpowers and possibly resolve all plotlines. So far Tim has strayed often enough from the standard narrative and I hope he still does… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
9 days ago
Reply to  Darkhorse

Personally, I feel like “theorycrafting” for a story is pointless at best, and bad form at worst. Pointless because the audience never knows everything on the table. It’s the author’s job to subvert expectations and introduce new things in. Therefore – “that’s implausible!” isn’t an effective counter. In fact, “That’s the most logical thing that will happen,” IS an effective counter. Bad form, because this is a story that, due to the medium, is told excruciatingly slow, page by page, with weeks in which we can all threorycraft. Chances are reasonably high that someone will draw a conclusion that vaguely… Read more »

Giggity Goo
Giggity Goo
10 days ago
Reply to  Blue Griffin

Does it give him perspective towards Scott having made the horrible horrible mistake of leaving the bomb in if he now makes a horrible horrible mistake of assuming Ethan’s powers still work (if they don’t)?

Advocate
Advocate
9 days ago
Reply to  Giggity Goo

Scott didn’t make a mistake though. He made a choice. Zeke is making a choice, and as far as (we know) they know, Ethan will respawn even if they kill him here.

Jedi
Jedi
10 days ago

Now we’re talking ! I wonder how this plays out.Tim, surprise us 🙂

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
10 days ago

This moment here, makes me wonder if Ethan is too wrapped up in the moment to remember he may be mortal, if his faith in Zeke is just that strong to do the right thing, or if he’s fully aware of the risk he’s taking here.

Ben
Ben
10 days ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

I think Ethan, at least in this timeline, is a genuine hero. He would choose to be between Scott and those shuriken regardless of whether he had powers.

His lack of hesitation may come from the heat of the moment, but a willingness to sacrifice himself is there.

Dana
Member
Dana
10 days ago
Reply to  Ben

I think Ethan was always capable of being a hero even in CAD 1.0. He has the morals. His issues have been a bit of, silliness. I live with people that explain everyday things with book analogies. “It is like that time in Valdamar.” or can forget a topic in the middle of a sentence. (Granted that last one is Parkinson’s and dementia) So Ethan is ‘quirky’ not insane to me here.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
9 days ago
Reply to  Ben

Very true. I would agree – he’s in there, very well knowing that he might die to both protect Scott and demonstrate to Zeke human selflessness.

However… Scott, right now, is about to watch Carlie’s brother die in a manner pretty dang similar to how he watched Carlie die. Unless he does something. He swore he would never be lying there helpless again.

I can’t help but think there’s at least one more wildcard somewhere.

Jedi
Jedi
10 days ago

The whole thing actually puts Zeke in a dilemma as well. If Zeke kills Scott, he would admit that Scott was right all along. Lets hope their CPU clocks high enough to realize that.

Bloof
Bloof
10 days ago
Reply to  Jedi

Not quite, I think. Scott characterized Zeke as a monster that would kill humans lightly or without reason. Zeke has a reason that would be compelling (though still not *right*) to many humans in this case. While he didn’t plant the bomb, Scott engineered a situation that could have easily killed him- has expressed that he thinks ZK is an irredeemable menace that has no right to exist, and now has killed a robot that might have been ZK or an intelligent friend. It could even be argued that Scott hunted down ZK from ZK’s perspective. Scott is a continuous,… Read more »

Dagroth
Dagroth
10 days ago
Reply to  Bloof

I don’t think Scott killed* that robot, we can see Ethan fighting it in the second and third frame (look at the clothes, that is not Zeke). Well, unless it’s another one of them.

Other than that I agree.

*I’m not sure if the word killed applies here. While it would apply if it was Zeke (who as far as we know is sentient and self-aware), the other robots are remote controlled drones.

Logan
Logan
10 days ago
Reply to  Dagroth

There were, at least, two other robots with ZK, not just one. One holding Ethan, and another pulled Scott out of the car. Ethan was fighting off the one already holding him, not the one that was on Scott.

VibrantEvolution
VibrantEvolution
10 days ago
Reply to  Dagroth

There was more than one robot. Ethan’s fighting off the one that was holding him. But I don’t think that they are sentient so I don’t think that ZK minds that much if he can just “build more”

Bloof
Bloof
8 days ago
Reply to  Dagroth

I’ll agree that point is my weakest- though the bot Ethan is fighting is a different one I’m pretty sure. Ethan was being held while the other grabbed for Scott. My interpretation is that ZK actually had the bot let go of Scott when Ethan told him to, only for Scott to attack it immediately after. We can assume that he would have done the same to ZK himself if it was ZK that grabbed him. That all said, Scott Was just being abducted, so while Scott’s action was unwise, I think most of us could understand it as a… Read more »

Dagroth
Dagroth
10 days ago
Reply to  Jedi

I don’t think they would (prove Scott right).

Zeke has very valid reasons to be furious at Scott and not trust him at all.
While argualy also wrong, killing Scott would NOT be the same as going on a murderous rampage against all humans.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
10 days ago
Reply to  Jedi

I really can’t agree with that logic. Even if he were to kill Scott, killing one specific human, when they come at you with a weapon, after already trying to kill you once is hardly the same as the general ‘being a threat to humans’ from Scotts argument.

You can argue doing so would make Zeke evil, but that’s really not the same as Scott somehow being right all along. Not when his actions are the primary reason the current conflict exists in the first place.

Borderlander
Borderlander
10 days ago
Reply to  GeorgeV

“A paralyzed person lying on the ground with a close combat weapon” (or melee weapon for anyone who plays almost any kind of RPGs) is not exactly “coming at you” or a situation where Zeke couldn’t just easily retreat out of harm’s way. Or even, you know, just stand still, Scott isn’t approaching him and isn’t even holding a weapon now.

Even if they did come to the scene in a car. Which btw is a far more dangerous object when used as a weapon than a cattle prod (I think that’s what Scott had?). Yet Scott didn’t crash

austindorf
austindorf
10 days ago

I honestly don’t think that, whatever happens, Scott can change his mind. He specifically said that even if Zeke had a “soul”, he would be even more determined to eliminate them for fear of a new dominant species being born on Earth. He judges Zeke like humans judge mutants in Marvel

TheGuyThatSaysThings
TheGuyThatSaysThings
10 days ago
Reply to  austindorf

He won’t change his mind based on logic or ideals, just like a racist won’t change their mind by trying to talk sense into them.

He might change his mind because someone he cares about cares enough about Zeke to put themselves in harms way for them.

DCW
DCW
10 days ago

Wait did Zeke imagine that? Did the cattle prod fry him?

Dorander
Dorander
10 days ago
Reply to  DCW

It was one of his flunky-bots.

Luc
Luc
10 days ago

Oh, turns out Zeke did just expect Scott to do nothing and take the beating from the robot. That’s an unfortunate turn (you know, dragging a seemingly defenseless paraplegic out of his car, surprised Pikachu face when he defends himself, now Zeke says “oh well that’s a funny way of showing help”).

Still excited to see how this turns out. I just don’t like Zeke’s initial reaction haha.

Jaysburn
Jaysburn
10 days ago
Reply to  Luc

We don’t know – and now likely never will – what Zeke’s intentions were. The bot was leaning down to grab Scott, but we have no confirmation that it was actually going to hurt him instead of just restrain him.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
10 days ago
Reply to  Luc

Zeke’s reaction is (probably) less about Scott defending himself, and more about the fact that Scott already had a weapon on hand. He’s (seemingly) come far more prepared to attack and try to destroy Zeke than to help. For bonus contrast, note how Ethan did actually come unarmed, rather than going in full Analog combat gear. Scott is probably going to need to make a very good persuasion effort to fix this. If he can fix this. Ethan claiming Scott is friendly is unlikely to make a difference, as Zeke has already experienced that Scott is willing to go behind… Read more »

Nik
Nik
10 days ago

Panel 3: Ethan appears to be executing a nicely done Osota Gari.

Didn’t know Tim studied Judo.

Willess12
Willess12
10 days ago
Reply to  Nik

Well, pretty good. He’s not pushing the pressure point at the back, but being as it’s a robot it probably doesn’t have the same pressure points a person would have.

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
9 days ago
Reply to  Willess12

Pressure point? I think you’re confagating this with something else. There’s no pressure points in judo afaik, and I did it for a few years. Even if you mean points to unbalance people, the throw shown is a pretty standard judo throw. One leg behind the robot’s leg as a pivot point and using his arms at the chest height for a proper lever. Using minimum effort to unbalance and throw down a humanoid. The back does not feature in this one.

Willess12
Willess12
8 days ago
Reply to  Darkhorse

Huh, didn’t know that. I’ve done karate for many years, we do have a move like this called Osota Gari that involves pushing a spot on their back. In addition to making them bend over to fall, it’ll make them fall in front of you so you can pin them; something Ethan also probably isn’t worried about, since he has to go protect Scott.

Jedi
Jedi
9 days ago
Reply to  Nik

I’m actually more surprised that Ethan knows Judo 🙂

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
9 days ago
Reply to  Jedi

Personally I think it is an excellent choice. Most of the criminals they fight are small fry. There are laws against using disproportionate violence. Not only that, on a long enough time scale hitting people that might have a (dormant/invisible) health condition, or a broken leg has an unlucky compilation and it needs to be amputated or something.

Judo by comparison is a relatively safe way to take down opponents with minimal damage. And as this comic shows, sometimes it is easier to throw someone in such a close quarters fight.

Nik
Nik
9 days ago
Reply to  Jedi

I thought about that.

But, I can attribute Ethan knowing Judo in an attempt to be a better Superhero (Ala: Batman). So, him being able to engage in unarmed melee would make sense to me.

His one great advantage is that he could always come back into the fight refreshed (based upon the Criminal Gang/Deathblood encounter). Whether he still has this advantage. . . well I guess Tim will reveal it soon enough.

Ben
Ben
10 days ago

My first reaction: oh thank god it’s only weekend and this isn’t going to be a weekend cliffhanger
My second reaction: oh damnit the next page IS going to be a weekend cliffhanger.

Acorr
Acorr
10 days ago

Man, so many possibilities.

1) Zeke doesn’t shoot, Ethan being important to him
2) Zeke does shoot, with Ethan respawning, finally resolving that arc
3) Zeke does shoot, then freak out when Ethan just lies there, bleeding
4)Another bot stabs Scott in the background

Also several more that I think are less likely, but Tim is doing this long enough to subvert expectations

Martin
Martin
10 days ago
Reply to  Acorr

Adding to option 3)
3 a) decides to help Ethan, making Scott realize that ZK is more than a machine
3 b) decides to nevermind Ethan and again tries to kill Scott, only to be interrupted by some arrows shot by Lucas who finally got the phone messages E&S left him…

Jack0r
Jack0r
9 days ago
Reply to  Acorr

Another Option between 2 and 3: Zeke does shoot, then freaks out when Ethan just lies there, bleeding, Ethan respawns delayed after Scott tells Zeke of the superhero antidote.

Arcatus
Arcatus
9 days ago
Reply to  Acorr

5) Zeke abandons a wounded Ethan (assuming he will respawn) and dead Scott. Lucas arrive too late to stop Zeke, but in time to save Ethan.

Glaedien
Glaedien
9 days ago
Reply to  Acorr

Rather than killing Scott, I think it’s possible that Zeke abducts him, with Zeke realizing that he is the closest to understanding how their code works aside from perhaps Eugene.

Mr_Meng
Mr_Meng
10 days ago

“You fought back after I grabbed you and held you down so now I have to hurt you more.”

Zeke is really giving off ‘abusive romantic partner’ vibes right now.

JozMk.II
JozMk.II
10 days ago

Batman move!

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
10 days ago

Zeke’s damaged brain and fragmented memory has Scott, Lucas, and Ethan as betrayers. I think he had plans to tell them both to go screw themselves and leave with a warning. However, since Scott came tearing up in the car and knocked down a minion, Zeke took it as a threat and was either going to remove it, or straight up kill it. Scott only has the prod on him for Ethan, and since that minion dragged him out of the car, of course in his PTSD he thought he was going to die right then, so he defended himself.… Read more »

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
9 days ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

Zeke actually believes that Ethan didn’t betray them. They just explained that a few pages ago.

Their current actions aren’t because of brain damage and not fully knowing what happened. They’re because their brain is functioning and they do know exactly what happened.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
9 days ago

Say what you will about the rest of it, that Was a solid CQC takedown.

ThatMageGuy
ThatMageGuy
9 days ago

Zeke remembers death still hurts Ethan. Zeke chooses the less lethal approach while making a video game joke.

Zeke shoots Ethan in the knee.

Keenan
Keenan
9 days ago

😀 so ethan has his powers still huh? Cant risk him like this, being a primary character 😉

Sanquin
Sanquin
9 days ago

Wouldn’t be surprised now if Zeke accidentally “kills” Ethan, Scott telling him that Ethan might not have his powers anymore. Zeke regrets what he did, but then Ethan does respawn. Revealing that the troll was, surprise surprise, a troll to the very end after all. And maybe making Zeke not so sure about…whatever he’s planning atm.

PhobosRising
PhobosRising
9 days ago

Would be interesting if Ethan gets removed from the comic, and suddenly it becomes Zeke trying to figure out how to cure the cure. A veritable scorched earth policy on troll, searching for any scrap of data. We’ve yet to see his female counterpart, so that is something. Could have Ethan in limbo pulling a second coming on winter-een-mas.

Bwauder
Bwauder
8 days ago

I’m waiting for the surprise twist – Lucas rings home to see that Ethan and Scott haven’t gone off the reservation or killed each other, gets no answer, so goes out looking for them..