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The Old Hack

Story Friday March 30, 2018

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1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

Where was Magus when not-Tengu showed up and Ellen linked up with Nanase to form a double Guardian team? Why doesn't Magus seem to know what happened to all those vampires, especially the one that attacked Diane and Charlotte? Why doesn't Magus seem to know anything about the griffins?

I am not sure but I think Magus had largely been keeping company with Sirleck ever since they decided to make common cause. Magus may not have been together with him all the time but I suspect he tried hard to keep an eye on his 'ally.'

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Quotes from original reactions to comics from Sister?  Has Dan kept notes of reactions from that far back?

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12 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Quotes from original reactions to comics from Sister?  Has Dan kept notes of reactions from that far back?

He's a writer. Writers remember criticisms and reactions to the earliest stuff they do. Particularly stuff that was on point.

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12 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

http://www.egscomics.com/?id=2479

Bugger that.

Anyone else want to mount a defence of Saint Magus the Holy Innocent? :mad:

Well, ummmmmm... His intentions are good? That is, he believes that what he intends to do is good. Whether that belief is correct is quite another matter, and depends on whether he intends to ask for Ellen's opinion and consent before doing it.

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1 minute ago, Douglas said:

Well, ummmmmm... His intentions are good? That is, he believes that what he intends to do is good. Whether that belief is correct is quite another matter, and depends on whether he intends to ask for Ellen's opinion and consent before doing it.

There is a place where good intentions traditionally tend to lead. In fact, the road there is paved with them.

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55 minutes ago, Scotty said:

After that, Magus laid low, he probably couldn't follow Ellen to the party because Jer/Zeus was there and probably would have seen him. It probably wasn't just Pandora, Helena, Demetrius or Zeus that prevented Magus from watching Ellen more closely.

When did Magus learn about Jerry/Zeus? Does Magus even know about Jerry/Zeus now? Is there anything in canon or in Dan's tweets (I'm not on Twitter) that indicates that Magus was watching Ellen or anyone else before Sirleck used Ellen to zap Elliot? And is there anything hinting that Jerry/Zeus knows about Magus or ever knew about Magus or Sirleck?

There's something else that Magus hasn't absorbed yet: He obviously thought that Elliot and Ellen would be completely unaware of what happened while they were possessed. Now Magus didn't hear Ellen and Sirleck's internal conversation, but he just did hear Elliot reveal he was aware of everything. Cheerleadra took a full-powered shot from a summoned dragon powered by an Immortal, so if there is a fight I think it will be a short one. Sirleck didn't seem to have any spells beyond what made him a Body Thief. And as a final doh! moment for Magus, why was he ever sure he could destroy Sirleck before Sirleck possessed his new body?

I don't know how Dan would pull it off, but I think the most satisfying end for this kerfuffle would be for Susan to hammer him while Ellen and Tedd zap him back into her.

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6 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

I don't know how Dan would pull it off, but I think the most satisfying end for this kerfuffle would be for Susan to hammer him while Ellen and Tedd zap him back into her.

...that brought to mind the mental image of the main cast doing a super sentai-style team attack. I did not know that I wanted this to be a thing that happens but I want that to be a thing that happens.

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9 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

In the sparring match, Terra is flying and Magus seems groundbound, suggesting that Terra is more powerful than Magus, which makes Magus' insistence that becoming male was the right choice.

Terra flying might actually be avoiding physical confrontation.

9 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:
13 hours ago, onfurtherreview said:

How has he been hanging around observing the Dunkels, without rethinking this assumption yet?

This might be an unintended consequence of Les Immortels keeping him away from the Dunkels.  He wouldn't have been there for the sort of heart-to-heart conversations Elliot and Ellen have had in their shared bedroom.

... and that may be not only thing he missed.

8 hours ago, Haylo said:

If the ur-ellen would give them a chance, Tedd/Tess could give Ellen her own gender-change wand, making it clear that she could switch any time she really wanted to. Getting ur-ellen to understand that could be all kinds of difficult, though.

NOONE present knows that Tedd could make permanent change wands. In fact, I would assume that they could've just let Magus "fix" Ellen, bring her to Tedd and Tedd would safely reverse whatever would Magus do to her, BUT noone knows that.

2 hours ago, Drasvin said:
7 hours ago, ChronosCat said:
10 hours ago, Drasvin said:

Ah, so this is how the fight between Magus and Elliot starts. Unless Ashley is able to convince Magus otherwise, but I doubt that is going to happen. I really hope Elliot goes Cheerleadra and wipes the floor with Magus.

It would be rather nicely ironic to have Mr. "I Became A Man To Be Stronger" beaten by the super-powered female form of someone who spends most of his time in male form...

Not just the super-powered female form of someone who spends most of his time in male form, but the super-powered female form of him from another universe. It would be as definitive evidence that his belief is flawed as one can get without involving time travel and divergent timeline shenanigans.

Yup, that totally should happen.

2 hours ago, chridd said:

Switching sexes isn't fully accepted in his universe; there are people who are opposed to sex-change magic in general, who he feels he has to justify himself to.

7 hours ago, Scotty said:

In terms of Terra, the way it seems to me is both Terra and Ellen were born female, they're grew up together, and when it came time to chose what they wanted to do for a career, they both wanted to be battle mages, however because of society's view on which gender is better suited for which job, and how easy it was to switch genders to fit, Ellen chose to be male. Terra however didn't believe that was the case and chose to remain female, note how Magus/Ellen stated that "Objectively, men are stronger physically" and about to talk about upper body strength, it would seem that the disagreement between Magus/Ellen and Terra might not have been so much about whether Terra would be a weaker magic user, but just weaker physically and Magus/Ellen believed that it might be a detriment to Terra in cases where magic might be ineffective.

Switching sexes might be accepted quite well in his universe, but I don't think his reasoning is. Possibly, majority believes that battle mages should be men, but it's not overwhelming majority and Terra is not the only one who believes otherwise. Magus DID got into multiple discussion about this topic, not only with Terra, and didn't always won those debates ...

47 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:
2 hours ago, Scotty said:

After that, Magus laid low, he probably couldn't follow Ellen to the party because Jer/Zeus was there and probably would have seen him. It probably wasn't just Pandora, Helena, Demetrius or Zeus that prevented Magus from watching Ellen more closely.

When did Magus learn about Jerry/Zeus? Does Magus even know about Jerry/Zeus now? Is there anything in canon or in Dan's tweets (I'm not on Twitter) that indicates that Magus was watching Ellen or anyone else before Sirleck used Ellen to zap Elliot? And is there anything hinting that Jerry/Zeus knows about Magus or ever knew about Magus or Sirleck?

Magus may not know Jerry/Zeus by name, but he would DEFINITELY try to stay away from him, due to his experiences with immortals. I would consider sure that he was not around when Nanase and Ellen were Charlotte's angels.

2 hours ago, Scotty said:
3 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

There's another thing Magus seems to be missing: this universe doesn't operate on the same rules as his home universe. Even if it might be true in his home universe that male battle mages are stronger at magic than female battle mages, that rule does not necessarily apply in the Moperverse. And while Magus may not have observed Elliot closely because of Helena and Demetrius, Magus definitely saw what Nanase did in Sister II.

Yeah he saw what Nanase did. But he also believes he's still stronger than Nanase despite that. I dunno if that's simply arrogance that Nanase's female and thus less of a threat, or if it really is because he has a wider selection of spells or because his magic can counter hers because of how different it is (like Magus could easily put Nanase to sleep and she couldn't resist it), I mean it's apparent there's the sense of "males are better mages" arrogance, but whether he could actually beat Nanase may or may not be true.

Hmmm ... right, he must've saw what Nanase did in Sister II ... but might be too arrogant to take it into account. The guardian spell DOES have several obvious disadvantages ...

2 hours ago, Scotty said:

My thinking was that it'd be more like a potentially threatening brain tumour, it may not do anything, but it may also affect the person in ways that it shouldn't.

Even that isn't something which should be done without patient consent ...

2 hours ago, Scotty said:

Now the downside of this way of thinking is that someone could apply this logic to say "We should be able to do the same to fix trans people" but that is making the assumption that gender identity is a mental problem that can be fixed by taking a chunk out of the brain. But as far as we know, gender dysphoria isn't caused by a brain tumor so it's not the same situation.

Note that even if we assume that gender identity is a mental problem, it still wouldn't mean it can be fixed by taking a chunk of the brain out. The problem might be in some chunk being missing.

(Gender dysphoria does sounds like something which should be theoretically possible to fix and make everyone genderfluid - or more like gender-meh - as they should be. Next step, make everyone bisexual.)

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As long as I have some spare time, I might as well throw another plot theory at the rest of you guys (and I'm not attaching any kind of gender to "guys). Maybe Terra used to be another Tedd, crushed on ur-Ellen, and when ur-Ellen went Magus, mirrored ur-Ellen's gender switch with the intention of showing Magus up and reaching toward her original ambition of someday having her/his kids with him/her/what-day-is-it?

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"You would so be a man in my universe." To Nanase? That did, and still does not sit well in the grand scheme of things.

I can see now that AU has more "advanced" Magic. This Gooniverse kept up with it only just now.

2 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

He's a writer. Writers remember criticisms and reactions to the earliest stuff they do. Particularly stuff that was on point.

Or as I call it, "holding a grudge". A long, 16 year old grudge.

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Magus, Magus, Magus...

Through a series of accidents and abuses, you were thrust into a most horrific situation.
A lot of us were willing to cut you quite a bit of slack.

But now that slack has turned into enough rope with which you can hang yourself.

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1 hour ago, Stature said:

Or as I call it, "holding a grudge". A long, 16 year old grudge.

Don't be so negative. Sometimes when people tell you that something you wrote sucks it isn't because they want to hurt you, it is because you wrote something that sucked. Dan was like just out of high school back then. Good Lord, when I think of some of the stuff I wrote back when I was that age... suffice it to say, it really did suck.

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1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:

Don't be so negative. Sometimes when people tell you that something you wrote sucks it isn't because they want to hurt you, it is because you wrote something that sucked. Dan was like just out of high school back then. Good Lord, when I think of some of the stuff I wrote back when I was that age... suffice it to say, it really did suck.

Ah, the grudge is in jest. But the childhood cringe is real. All too real.

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As time's gone on since I read the strip, especially with Dan's comment, I'm softening on Magus.  I think he's telling himself what he feels he needs to hear - after all, why would upper body strength matter to a battle mage?  I doubt Terra's the only female trainee, either.  And it's understandable that he should think Ellen ought to be "fixed." 

Honestly, I'm glad the notion of Ellen turning male, whether it happens or not, is being brought up.  Dan's aversion to it has always felt to me like plot hole spackle, and hopefully this will give us something more satisfying.

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Posted (edited)

I like how this arc and especially this comic have turned Magus from a plot device causing some conflicts into a complicated person - trying to do the right thing, but due to being from one society with faulty morals/ethics and trying to interact in another with a different set of faulty morals/ethics, is messing up - and seems a bit messed up BY said first society. An interesting show of faults in how society has often assigned gender roles and the negative effects it can have on people.

 

Edit: (Though the isolation he suffered probably is also playing a role in his current state, and I'm most certainly not applying the "right thing to BEFORE he gained a body again. Here's to hoping he gets his needed correction sooner rather than later.)

 

EDIT 2: Actually, not so sure if our society's flaws are relevant to this, re: one society acting in another.

Edited by Aura Guardian
clarity

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6 hours ago, WR...S said:

Honestly, I'm glad the notion of Ellen turning male, whether it happens or not, is being brought up.  Dan's aversion to it has always felt to me like plot hole spackle, and hopefully this will give us something more satisfying.

You're entitled to your opinion, but I doubt if you share it. Being female is  the very first thing that distinguished our Ellen from Elliot. Moreover, all her Second Life memories are of being female. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Magus' attempt to turn our Ellen male would backfire, turning himself back into a woman. Magus has been assuming that all his old magic works in the Moperverse. All he really knows is that everything he's done in the three-odd hours he's had his magic back has worked. The only reason I can see Ellen turning male now is so Nanase can have children.

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5 hours ago, The Wozard said:

Yeah it shows Elliot saying that a man could be better at doing a particular task, but instantly subverts that statement by asking Nanase to do it.

Mind you at that time everyone was female and so Nanase likely would be considered the strongest one there, but Grace probably could have beefed herself up as well though.

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18 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Note that even if we assume that gender identity is a mental problem, it still wouldn't mean it can be fixed by taking a chunk of the brain out. The problem might be in some chunk being missing.

(Gender dysphoria does sounds like something which should be theoretically possible to fix and make everyone genderfluid - or more like gender-meh - as they should be. Next step, make everyone bisexual.)

There is some evidence suggesting that in several areas of the brain - some of them being areas where the bell curve rules - there are small structural and biochemical differences between male and female brains. That these differences develop due to hormone balances at certain points in gestation - not all at the same time, and not at the same time that hormone balances affect the development of internal and external genitalia (which also aren't at the same time, or even the same hormone chains - see androgen insensitivity syndrome).

With these things happening at different times, it is entirely possible to get a typically-female brain in a typically-male body (or vice versa), or a mixed-gender brain...

But "fixing" this is not just a matter of excising something defective. The BEST you could expect from doing that is a person who is completely agender. The more likely result is you get a corpse.

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10 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:
17 hours ago, WR...S said:

Honestly, I'm glad the notion of Ellen turning male, whether it happens or not, is being brought up.  Dan's aversion to it has always felt to me like plot hole spackle, and hopefully this will give us something more satisfying.

You're entitled to your opinion, but I doubt if you share it. Being female is  the very first thing that distinguished our Ellen from Elliot. Moreover, all her Second Life memories are of being female. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Magus' attempt to turn our Ellen male would backfire, turning himself back into a woman. Magus has been assuming that all his old magic works in the Moperverse. All he really knows is that everything he's done in the three-odd hours he's had his magic back has worked. The only reason I can see Ellen turning male now is so Nanase can have children.

It's unlikely she would ever want to be turned to male permanently, but in EGS it DOES seem weird she is never turned male temporarily. Sure, making Nanase pregnant is only serious reason for that, but she SHOULD have at least some training ... or they end up needing Grace.

9 hours ago, Scotty said:
14 hours ago, The Wozard said:

Yeah it shows Elliot saying that a man could be better at doing a particular task, but instantly subverts that statement by asking Nanase to do it.

Mind you at that time everyone was female and so Nanase likely would be considered the strongest one there, but Grace probably could have beefed herself up as well though.

I suspect Nanase would be the strongest even if everyone WOULDN'T be female. Maybe with the exception of Grace changing to Jeremy form (or something which includes it).

5 hours ago, Don Edwards said:
On 3/30/2018 at 11:24 PM, hkmaly said:

Note that even if we assume that gender identity is a mental problem, it still wouldn't mean it can be fixed by taking a chunk of the brain out. The problem might be in some chunk being missing.

(Gender dysphoria does sounds like something which should be theoretically possible to fix and make everyone genderfluid - or more like gender-meh - as they should be. Next step, make everyone bisexual.)

There is some evidence suggesting that in several areas of the brain - some of them being areas where the bell curve rules - there are small structural and biochemical differences between male and female brains. That these differences develop due to hormone balances at certain points in gestation - not all at the same time, and not at the same time that hormone balances affect the development of internal and external genitalia (which also aren't at the same time, or even the same hormone chains - see androgen insensitivity syndrome).

With these things happening at different times, it is entirely possible to get a typically-female brain in a typically-male body (or vice versa), or a mixed-gender brain...

But "fixing" this is not just a matter of excising something defective.

It seems quite obvious that if both males and females HAVE those areas and they are just wired differently, you can't "fix it" by removing something. You need much more precise instrument, capable of rewiring parts of brain. Nanotechnology.

5 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

The BEST you could expect from doing that is a person who is completely agender. The more likely result is you get a corpse.

Human brains are surprisingly flexible and can survive even massive damage. Thousands of people survived lobotomy. Unless those areas are near the bottom of brain, I don't think the death rate would be that big.

... but, obviously, just because most patients would survive doesn't make it good idea.

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Just now, hkmaly said:

Maybe with the exception of Grace changing to Jeremy form (or something which includes it).

Grace had the Omega form by then, she could use it and telekinesis to fly and move things.

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2 hours ago, Scotty said:
3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Maybe with the exception of Grace changing to Jeremy form (or something which includes it).

Grace had the Omega form by then, she could use it and telekinesis to fly and move things.

... I though Omega form DOES include Jeremy form, just like Legion form ...

And note that while Grace can use telekinesis, she's not THAT good with it to move the couch with it ... and definitely not easier than manually.

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