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The Old Hack

Story Friday March 30, 2018

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I sure hope that by "fix" he means "restore the ability to move easily", not "fasten permanently in place." Insisting that Ellen be given options is one thing, but it sounds like he only wants her to have his selected option...

 

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13 minutes ago, detrius said:

Ellen doesn't even want to be a battle mage, which was the stated reason for his decision, so how does this even make sense?

It doesn't. Magus has made this to be all about him/her, and sees Ellen as a reminder of a painful past that must be 'fixed.' Ellen isn't a separate person at all to Magus but an extension of their own self, much like a parent trying to force their child into becoming what they themselves wanted to be.

This, incidentally, also explains that spar between Magus and Terra we saw way back when. Magus wanted to prove the 'objective superiority' of the male form to Terra who responded with what she thought was 'true power.' Whether that also might have anything to do with the act of sabotage aimed at Magus back then is a little hard to say, though it might be possible, of course. I just don't think Terra was behind it.

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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.

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37 minutes 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.

I am afraid it will not be that easy. Magus has a good deal of confidence in his magical power and it may well be justified. If there is a fight, it won't be an easy one.

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16 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
55 minutes 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.

I am afraid it will not be that easy. Magus has a good deal of confidence in his magical power and it may well be justified. If there is a fight, it won't be an easy one.

Most likely, but I strongly suspect that Magus's prejudices are coloring his perceptions and he might not be as strong relative to the main cast as he thinks he is. He's not going to be a push-over, he is a trained battle mage after all, but his own confidence, combined with those prejudices, could be his undoing.

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Speaking of dysphoria...

I think Ashley has a line that's gone missing in this comic., something like "You wanna tell that to Susan?"

Magus' has the right to go on believing he's better as a male, but not the right to "fix" our Ellen. Probably not the ability, either, because Tedd can unfix her right away..

Stepping over the line but not far over into plot theory, I think the only way a fight could break out here is if Magus tries to "fix" our Ellen without consent. Something about Terra being female is bothering him. I see several somethings that might qualify:

  • 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.
  • Magus might have been really torn about her attraction to Terra before she became male.
  • Terra might have been male before Magus switched gender, and switched to the opposite gender to remain in the approved heterosexual role for their relationship, or to show Magus up, or both.

Also, despite Magus' assertion to Ashley that he is far more powerful than Nanase, he did say that Nanase would so be a man in his universe, which can be seen in a different light now that we know Magus wasn't always a man in his own universe. And if changing sex is easy in Magus' home universe, why is it so darned important to him?

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29 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I am afraid it will not be that easy. Magus has a good deal of confidence in his magical power and it may well be justified. If there is a fight, it won't be an easy one.

I think now is when Elliot's new spell comes into play. I hope.

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4 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.

1 hour 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.

 

27 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I am afraid it will not be that easy. Magus has a good deal of confidence in his magical power and it may well be justified. If there is a fight, it won't be an easy one.

Elliot has only just begun accepting his own gender fluidity.  Imagine if Magus tries to shoot a spell for permanent maleness at the unconscious Ellen, and Cheerleadra interposes herself like she did for that dragon's blast?

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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.

Could ur-ellen actually be really missing her feminine side, resulting in feeling envy and resentment for the double of herself that got to keep hers?

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Just now, 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:

Ok, this definitely doesn't sit well with me on several levels, for one it seems apparent that Magus/Ellen's world may have gender bias if Dan's commentary is any indication (and that Terra is bucking the trend by trying to prove it isn't true), Magus/Ellen would have grown up being taught that being able to do what you want meant needing to change who you are (it really sounds like Dan's read that Ranma 1/2 fanfic that Chronoscat mentioned in Wednesday's thread), how they do it might seem fine, sure it's clear that Magus/Ellen has had that conversation with Terra already, they could still be friends and agree to disagree on this one subject.

This also implies that Terra is female and chose to stay female despite Magus/Ellen believing that being male would be better for their chosen profession. Considering AU's it's quite possible that an AU Elliot is genderfluid or trans instead of an AU Tedd.

Anyway....I've always pushed my opinion that Ellen has been able to chose to be male at any time without consequences like it had initially been suggested in the comic, but it would always have been Ellen's choice, so Magus/Ellen believing that making her male would be fixing her would be imposing their idea of what strength means onto someone who doesn't need it, and that's bad and would likely ruin whatever chance there was of Ellen ever wanting to switch for her own reasons (like helping Nanase start a family).

Basically, DO NOT WANT MAGUS TO DO THIS!!!

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8 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Basically, DO NOT WANT MAGUS TO DO THIS!!!

See my last post for some reasons why this would be:

  • Really a bad idea
  • Likely pointless if Magus does manage to do it
  • Not likely to happen anyway

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Just now, Tom Sewell said:

See my last post for some reasons why this would be:

  • Really a bad idea
  • Likely pointless if Magus does manage to do it
  • Not likely to happen anyway

As was also pointed out, Magus/Ellen clearly hasn't been eavesdropping on Elliot's and Ellen's conversations or else he'd know that Ellen is perfectly happy with who she is.

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.

Magus/Ellen's worry about Terra's wellbeing is misguided but I think he does care about Terra. He's just needs to realize that a person's strength is not determined by gender and it's not always about being physically strong. If Terra's smart, she'll figure out ways out of situations that others would normally brute force their way out of.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, this is at the worst end of the range of possibilities I predicted - and that's before we get to the part where we learn Magus doesn't trust Ellen to make her own decisions. (He knows Tedd has the TFG, so it should be pretty obvious even without knowing about Tedd's newest powers that it would be easy for Ellen to assume male form. Sure the TFG's effects are temporary, but it can be re-applied, and at any rate the fact that she has yet to even assume male form once when it is in her power to do so should go to show that having a male form isn't a high priority for her if it's something she has any interest in at all.)

I have a suspicion that Magus is actually quite conflicted about this issue and is doubling down on his prejudice in an attempt to justify his previous decisions and actions. This reads to me more like someone who is trying to convince themselves of their arguments than someone who is perfectly confident in what they're saying. Of course that only provides some hope he might be able to change, it doesn't help anything in the mean-time. (Edit: Come to think of it, it might just make things worse in the mean time.)

On a lighter note, yay for starburst background in six! (Although actually the image of smiling Terra in panel four lifts my spirits far more than a cool background in an unhappy panel.)

5 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...

Edited by ChronosCat
Additional thought which wasn't worth a new post.

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Ok here's a theory that is likely just wishful thinking on my part: Dan's intentionally making us believe that Magus/Ellen intends on turning Ellen male on the believe that she'd be stronger. After bringing up my opinion about how Ellen should be able to handle being transforms into a male form...if that wasn't the case, then maybe the "fix" Magus/Ellen has in mind is fixing it so that Ellen could freely switch gender without any negative consequences that being male would cause her. This would go a long way for Ellen to be able to help Nanase start a family without need assistance from Tedd, and morphing into a male form would still be her choice so it's very possible that she may never use it, so it might be more of a peace of mind gift to not have that "what if?" hanging over her head for the rest of her life.

Edit: A revision about my theory. Magus/Ellen asserted that he's a man, that it's part of who he is, and asserted that it's a part of who Ellen is. But what if it's not what we think it's means.

Ellen is a duplicate of Elliot turned female by magic. But what if she's not truly female because of it? She's made the effort of differentiating herself from Elliot and on the outside it's worked, but inside, she's still technically transformed, as was asserted by Grace to Tedd. What if Ellen's current form was defective in that if she was ever transformed to male, it'd be permanent? It would rather suck for Ellen to have everything she'd gone through and done to become a unique individual if she was forced to use magic trickery to maintain a female form. Maybe Magus/Ellen's "fix" is to remove that part of Ellen so that she would truly be female?

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2 hours ago, Scotty said:

Maybe Magus/Ellen's "fix" is to remove that part of Ellen so that she would truly be female?

Kind of like a magical lobotomy, then. That seemed like such a great idea that the quack that invented a lobotomy "surgery" which basically was sticking something like an icepick through your eye socket and stirring up your brain got a Nobel Prize for it.

Magus is tripping over his own faulty line of reasoning in just this comic. At the end Panel 5, he asserts that being a man is a part of himself. And immediately after that, at the beginning of Panel six, he says that it's a part of our Ellen. And then he says he's going to "fix" that. Whichever part he's proposing to remove, he would be damaging our Ellen, turning her into someone and something she isn't. He's on exactly the same wrong path as Abraham was when Abraham was about to kill Ellen and Magus is refusing to see it.

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.

Another curious thing: Magus was concerned about our Ellen in Sister II, and yet there's no hint that Magus has been watching Ellen since then. 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?

What the hell does Magus know, anyway? Did he slide into BMU on his universe' equivalent of a football scholarship? Maybe Moopsball? (Think Michigan State or any other NFL unofficial farm team).

 

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3 hours ago, ChronosCat said:
7 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.

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...aaand just as it was starting to look like Magus might not be so bad after all.  Maybe we'll get lucky and Terra'll track him down him just in time for a years-overdue dope slap.  Or more likely Elliot will just kick his rear end in.  Probably as Cheerleadra.

11 hours ago, Haylo said:

I sure hope that by "fix" he means "restore the ability to move easily", not "fasten permanently in place." Insisting that Ellen be given options is one thing, but it sounds like he only wants her to have his selected option...

She's had that option from the moment of her creation, though, and Magus should know that, as long as he's been shadowing the Dunkels.

Ironic that the fact that Ellen is female, and that Elliot's spellbook is basically a long list of female forms (including his strongest), is pretty much entirely Magus's doing.

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My predictions:

Magus's motives:
• Magus is transgender; he'd prefer a male form even without the battle mage thing.  (His "It's part of who I am" kind of suggests that; it would also explain why he thinks our Ellen should be male, if he assumes gender identity is the same across universes (which it probably isn't).)
• 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.
• His justification, his rationalization, to those people is that it makes him stronger, and that battle mages should be men, so he sees challenges to the idea that people should choose a male form to become stronger as challenges to the idea that he should have a male form.
• Terra might be a cis woman, or might be a trans woman; either way could work.

Magus is basically this person.

I also predict that Magus is going to be a villain in the short term, but he's misguided rather than evil and so eventually he'll see the error of his ways.  More like Abraham, and less like Damien, Tengu, or an aberration.  He might go on a transformation spree first, though, which would put him at odds with the government, who probably still wants magic to be kept somewhat secret until Tedd can figure out a way to increase magic resistance, and/or with anyone who knows about magic secrecy but not about the change in magic.  His magic might also be the ticking-clock type of enchantment.

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1 minute ago, Tom Sewell said:

Kind of like a magical lobotomy, then. That seemed like such a great idea that the quack that invented a lobotomy "surgery" which basically was sticking something like an icepick through your eye socket and stirring up your brain got a Nobel Prize for it.

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. My brother used to do security for a hospital that dealt with psychiatric patients, on such patient had tendencies for violent outbursts which resulted in someone getting killed. One day, out of the blue the man either smashed his head against the wall, or fell and banged it off some furniture or something, either way, he had to get tested to make sure he didn't have a concussion, and the test found a cancerous lump in his head, which was assumed to be the cause of the man's head injury, after it's removal though the man's mood changed, he had no memory loss, but be was much more approachable and talkative, by all appearances, he was a mentally stable person and it was the tumor that was creating the instability and violent outburts.

Of course, I'm not going to get into the debate about whether someone is still considered a criminal if what they did was due to mental imbalance from a brain tumor, but it's things like that make me think that if something like that can be detected and treated before it becomes a problem then it'd be worth treating. 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.

34 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

Magus is tripping over his own faulty line of reasoning in just this comic. At the end Panel 5, he asserts that being a man is a part of himself. And immediately after that, at the beginning of Panel six, he says that it's a part of our Ellen. And then he says he's going to "fix" that. Whichever part he's proposing to remove, he would be damaging our Ellen, turning her into someone and something she isn't. He's on exactly the same wrong path as Abraham was when Abraham was about to kill Ellen and Magus is refusing to see it.

I tweeted Dan with a summary of my theory, and this was his respons:

So it looks like my theory is sunk, but that second sentence suggests there's still something more this.

38 minutes 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.

1 hour ago, Tom Sewell said:

Another curious thing: Magus was concerned about our Ellen in Sister II, and yet there's no hint that Magus has been watching Ellen since then. 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?

The only reason Magus was watching Ellen in Sister 2 was because Pandora told him to follow Ellen though it could be assumed that Pandora knew that Abraham was on his way and wanted Magus nearby which was pretty much confirmed when Magus tried to leave. 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.

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