Chapter 5, Page 30

Finally, the dream scenario of the person you’re arguing with just shutting up and listening for once

In other news…

a lovely portrait of my son dominating his lessers by artist MetalSnail!

– I was hiatused when I received this, but reader Douglas pointed me at this review of Mare by SF reviewer James Nicoll~

Thanks to the above (and of course to all of you) for taking the time to read this comic

My other project for the year, Electrum, continues to fund. I know it’s weird for me to be doing another book when I have this one to finish up, but it’s a very different creative situation… in this case, my priority is to pay the team of artists who have been working diligently for over a year to make this book as great as it can be. I’ve had to break a lot of new ground since we are in a super under-served and widely dispersed demographic (compared to my normal sci-fi / fantasy stomping grounds), and this has required a large personal investment of time and other resources to get things underway. But at this point funding is pretty much assured, which is a big relief! To preview the art and stories in the book, check out these sneak peeks and artist interviews, or take a look at the campaign itself.

One last selling point cuz I’ve been sitting on this for a few months; I sent review copies around to some mixed-race writers and artist buds and acquired quotes of recommendation from folks like Fiona Staples, Alyssa Wong and Greg Pak that I get to put on the cover :] Feeling fairly chuffed about that. Anyways, comics are great, underrepped artists are great, feel free to come join us~


  • J

    Ouch lol

    God the emotional drama in this. So good.

  • Soup

    Something about this is so satisfying. I love how both of their characters are written, but Bex finally being able to say this stuff to Mike feels like a well deserved and contextually sound pay-off, instead of just conflict needlessly pumped in to “flesh them out”, if that even makes sense?? I just love this comic woops. Also congrats on the Electrum stuff, it’s great to see you doing great!! :D

    • Paula

      Yesss! It’s so satisfying to finally see her let it all out after years (in our time) of confusion and resentment.

  • god if only

    this page is painfully relatable

  • Ben

    .. aaaand I’m so disappointed.

    After all that, Mike’s a waycist mysoginist homophobe who “can’t see Bex as an equal”. OF COURSE he is, Bex. (Actually we don’t know if Bex abandoned her family because she is actually gay and couldn’t “come to terms with her sexuality” but I have a sinking feeling that this isn’t far away).

    I was really rather enjoying this comic. The art is gorgeous, the concept is original and the characters were complex, flawed people with their own troubled histories, pursuing personal obsessions which probably aren’t entirely healthy – but this is common among the sort of people who devote themselves to activities like Antarctic field research, in my experience of them.

    But no, apparently. Bex turns into the sort of right-on SJW that so many webcomics revolve around.

    It was fun while it lasted. I wasn’t able to work out how this could end, or I couldn’t decide between the (rather different) possibilities, but suddenly I don’t really care any more

    • AlpineBob

      It’s just one rant on one page by a distressed character. What she is saying may be true to her, and yet not the entire story.
      I’m not sure where you’re getting that Mike is a “waycist mysoginist homophobe”. That Bex might have that impression I can understand (as far as I can discern, Mike dislikes people in general, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or other such considerations); when seen through a narrow lens a misanthrope can seem to be prejudiced against any particular minority, when actually they just dislike everyone.
      Heck, you are just assuming the reason she left her family without any evidence I can discern. Maybe you are right, but then why go to Mars(?) of all places. I’ve been assuming Bex came to Mars because she wanted to be at the forefront of ground-breaking research in her specialty, but of course I could be wrong too.
      Perhaps there are some surprises still in store?

      Actually, I don’t think Mike IS a misanthrope, but he has been severely depressed. Which can affect ones ability to empathize. I think most of us would agree that his mental state has not been optimal in a lot of ways, and more recently he seems to be under the influence of some alien lifeforms…

    • Shweta

      Funny how someone who doesn’t care any more cares enough to leave a long comment dismissing Mike’s on-page refusal to treat Bex like an equal.

      Also funny how someone who thinks Mike’s totally not a “waycist mysoginist” (way to be a racist misogynist btw) still jumps to the conclusion that that’s what she means, when there are so many nuances to both characters’ interpersonal problems and so many possible interpretations of how she means it in this page.

      Tantrums like this are exactly why we need characters like Bex getting to say what she’s saying here.

      • Shweta

        (not that I think Mike’s shown any more racialized misogyny than we all learn by default, he just seems severely depressed and possibly less than fond of other humans.

        I just think jumping to that conclusion just to whine about it… takes a very particular sort of defensiveness.)

    • Lord

      Wow, is that your conclusion based on the simple (yet complex) word « equal » ? Or the fact it’s a black person who pronouces it ? I’ve only seen this kind of jumpiness in… America… *thunder*
      (just kidding ofc)
      Let’s be honest, nothing in this page or in this entire comic implies Mike is a misogynist and/or a racist and/or homophobic. Not saying the subject of social equality but it’s more subtle than this in MI ; it’s hinted by the ethnic diversity you’d expect to find in an international research mission on Mars, aaaand the fact you actually see more than white dudes making the story. Is it invasive or « SJW-esque », I don’t think so.
      Equality in this page obviously doesn’t refer to social equality, but respect between people. She wanted to be her friend and that implied considering her as his peer and not treat her like crap like he did throughout the story => see her as his equal. Maybe that was Mike’s intentions, but it was not what he showed in practice.
      I don’t think either that our favourite Der-shing would make the mistake to make her caracters talk head-on of social justice topics. It’s the topic of Questionnable Content, not Mare Internum. So please reconsider your judgement.
      And excuse my english, French people like me are shit in foreign languages ! :D

      • JJ

        I think your English is very good (though I’m not a native speaker either), and your typography super chouette!

    • RedDwarfIV

      You’re seeing things that aren’t there. I think Der-Shing has done an admirable job of keeping external politics from influencing the story.

      (This is not to say that you can’t write a story about IRL politics, but changing it mid-way through because of IRL events would have been jarring)

      As others have said, this is about respect between individuals, not about sex or race or sexual orientation (where did that even come into it? The only homosexual relationship we’ve seen in the comic was Mike’s uncle abusing him as a child.)

    • Kitty Serapha

      This is such a wildly reaching comment it’s outstanding. Nothing about the comic has implied that Bex is objectively right, only that this is how she feels. She doesn’t know Mike’s life history, and she doesn’t know all the ways he expresses himself, and it’s not really her job TO know all that.

      Both of these guys are sort of maladjusted so it would make sense that they would clash with each other. Mike demanded that Bex talk, and so now she’s talking. It’s as simple as that. Maybe Mike will argue with her, maybe he won’t. Even if he doesn’t, that doesn’t mean everything Bex said was right.

    • Glavos

      I think there’s a bit of sarcasm here, if not, you lost me.

    • shingworks

      haha I like have no idea where you got a lot of this but? obviously if you’re not connecting anymore you should probably drop the comic from your roster. This has always been a comic about flawed [organisms] connecting or not connecting with each other, I thought that would have been obvious by like Chapter 1 at least. Obviously you’re entitled to your interpretation but as the author I will say that your comments are wacky and off-base from where I’m sitting.

      • shingworks

        Also I just super rankle at people who use SJW as an insult. If you actually mean “Bex is an angry black lady yelling at a white guy and I don’t like that,” at least be honest enough to say that.

        • Esn

          Me and my fiance kind of use it as an insult (among ourselves, certainly not in public), but it has nothing to do with “angry black lady yelling at a white guy”, and more with a mutual dislike of people who’re very quick to take offense on others’ behalf, engage in groupthink, and refuse to give any respect to those they disagree with.

          Previously, we held the same dislike of religious fundamentalists (who share most of those traits), but SJWs are far more successful and influential these days.

          Has nothing to do with blacks…

          As for his overall comment, I can see how he might’ve gotten the impression, but I think he’s premature. I suspect that he’s become hyper-sensitive to anything that feels like message-pushing, because there has been such a lot of it in mainstream and alternative culture in the past few years (with “proper” political message being more important than a story or characters that make internal sense… not going to name names).

    • bloop

      ignoring everything else you said because i don’t care enough to read it, where on earth did you get that Bex is gay?????
      like i would love it if she turned out be a lesbian because yay lesbians, but like….


      did you just think being racist and misogynistic wasn’t enough?

  • Ben

    Mike is actually reaching out a long way, in his own fashion.

    He has significant mental problems, resulting from a traumatic childhood involving a range of violations of trust by his immediate family.

    Bex tried to mislead by omission, then withdrew into herself rather than explain actions which Mike undoubtedly views as a grave breach of trust, for her own reasons.

    Mike has severe professional problems, and he is also a possible suicide. If he REALLY didn’t regard Bex as important, he wouldn’t have changed his previous decision not to EVA.

    Bex clearly doesn’t recognise any of this.

    • Shweta

      Good job understanding the basics of one side of this interpersonal issue. Have a cookie.

    • agent57

      Bex doesn’t know any of this. Of course she doesn’t recognize it.

    • agent57

      Bex doesn’t even know any of this. Of course she doesn’t recognize it.

    • agent57

      You really seem to want to take Mike’s misunderstandings and missteps into consideration, and allow them but not Bex’s, just because you like him more.

  • Ежевика

    O my gosh. Thank you!

  • Ben

    Most of the posts above, seem to miss my point entirely.

    Why SHOULD Mike regard Bex as a friend? She arrived on Mars when Mike was on the point of being dismissed for gross professional misconduct, combined with highly unsocial behaviour – a serious matter in such an environment. Bex isn’t involved in any of that, and has no role in its resolution, whatever that might be. Their professional specialities are unrelated; they aren’t rivals.

    Mike has allowed himself to be imposed on, to the extent of taking Bex on an EVA.

    Bex has, as far as we can see, behaved at home in a manner certain to raise strongly negative reactions from Mike, given his own family background.

    In the subsequent events underground, Bex and Mike have reacted in completely different ways to the situation. Mike is ambiguously and indecisively moving towards integration with the biosphere, a point of no return, if he is not already there. This appears to ease his mental problems, as far as we can tell.

    Bex is trying to return to the Project, which has ordered her to abandon Mike. There isn’t much else she CAN do, anyway. They don’t really have any common goals, and zero understanding of the other’s situation.

    Bex simply isn’t making sense, at this point. If she was accusing Mike of endangering her, of obstructing her escape, you might feel she had a point. She may have no viable options, we can’t tell and nor can she.

    But to start bawling about “not treating her as an equal” when Mike was initially, just being his usual unloveable self, then pursuing a goal she can’t understand or share; that’s just irrelevant.

    • anvil

      That wasn’t the point you made, though. The point you made was that the comic is going to deliver an anvilicious social justice aesop now, which lots of people have pointed out is a hell of a reach on your part. What you’ve now done here is expand in a different direction, maybe in a desperate attempt to be right by any means? Wriggle more, buster.

      • Ben

        Two points together, there.

        Mike could be treating Bex as an “equal” just by not engaging with her, just as he doesn’t wish for people to engage with him. See also Erick’s post below, on the same subject.

        Mike may not WISH to engage with her. HIS personal issues result from past events in which his role was passive and he had little, or no agency. Bex’ treatment of her family, insofar as he can perceive it, may be completely unacceptable to him.

        This is where the whole SJW agenda comes into play, the automatic assumption of self-defined moral superiority and immediate attacking of perceived dissent. There’s a direct accusation from the author that “I don’t like Bex.. shouting at Mike, because she’s an angry black womsn and he’s a white man”. I didn’t say any such thing. I DON’T like Bex shouting st Mike in that fashion, but it’s because she appears to be completely in the wrong in this instance. She isn’t helping him, and she isn’t helping herself.

        I don’t know how this comic will end, there are a lot of threads to tie up. Bex will, or won’t escape; she may, or may not have a viable exit and the Processor may, or may not allow it, may or may not be able to prevent her. Mike appears unlikely to escape and may not want to, but some sort of Deus Ex Machina ending can’t be ruled out.

        But I’d be so disappointed if it turned out to be “… and so, Mike was Woke”

        • Roo

          For someone so fraught with disappointment that you previously dismissed the remainder of the story with an “I don’t care” attitude you sure are spending a good amount of time still here.

        • Becky

          You know Bex is allowed to be “wrong”, right? She’s a comic character. She’s allowed to be partially wrong, she’s allowed to be wholly wrong, she’s allowed to come to conclusions that make sense from her perspective but would not if she were another character or omniscient. She’s not a mouthpiece for how the author feels or how we should feel. I don’t think the author set up Mike to be some kind of total villain to be beat up on. He’s just a character with flaws… like most characters.

          Mike has done stuff that made Bex feel the way she does, and she’s lashing out. Feels aren’t always objectively “right” but you can’t say they aren’t there. Your feelings are your feelings whether you want them or not.

        • Kitty Serapha

          Yeah, because Mike has been clearly portrayed as the sort of guy that would ‘get woke’ because one person happened to yell at him one time.

          His entire life has been a trainwreck, part of that trainwreck caused by his own dysfunction. Thinking that he would turn on a time just because Bex got mad at him is a major disservice to what has been very balanced and thought out writing so far.

          Also, this argument has nothing to do with ‘wokeness’, really. It’s about two people misunderstanding each other.

          “Mike may not WISH to engage with her.”

          HE’S THE ONE DEMANDING THAT THEY TALK! Bex literally just tried to dismiss the subject and has been trying to remain coolly neutral. But Mike is interpreting her failing to engage with him as a show of rejection and spite, which is making him lash out because he basically wants her to get out with it.

          The faulty idea here is that Bex somehow needs to be tiptoeing around Mike’s trauma and not vice versa. The problem is that neither of them is really interacting with the other constructively. Mike is TRYING to fix things now because he’s come to regret some of it, but now he’s responding to her rejecting his apology by saying more rude shit.

        • Margaret Hogg

          You keep bringing up things that we and Mike know, but Bex doesn’t, as reasons that Bex should not be acting a certain way. You may think Bex should be more understanding of Mike because of his past and his mental and emotional issues, but given that she doesn’t have a full picture of them, what you’re saying instead is that Bex should not express her feelings (even when pushed for them) IN CASE Mike has mental and emotional issues.

          Mike might be be more justified in his feelings and actions, but considering what each character knows about the other, you’re applying different standards of behavior to each of them.

    • Reikenbach

      There’s a certain type of person who, in railing against something they hate, begins to see the target of their ire everywhere and in doing so becomes the very thing they were fighting against.

      As the SJW almost actively seeks to take offense and even creates problems where none exist, so too have you projected your own fears and hatreds onto this webcomic.

      There aren’t really any intentional political opinions in this comic, which is a rare and novel thing these days. At most, it could be said that the author is appealing for more widespread normalization of psychiatric care and acceptance regarding psychological problems.

      For the record, I fully believe Bex to be more “in the wrong” than Mike here – not regarding actions, but in intents. They were nothing more than colleagues, yet for some reason she sought him out as a kindred soul on the very first day they met. Couldn’t have picked a worse fit on the entire planet.

    • Keith

      absolutely brilliant summation, you are informed and possibly educated beyond a 5th grade level. BUT you entire conclusion and hypothesis is utterly catastrophically WRONG. It’s is so wrong that I’ve not the words to describe it…which is amusing as, as should be rather clear I’m a rather wordy SJW, CISwhitemale who has managed to raised a marine and a disabled son. So, yeah this 70’s kid knows for a fact your full of beans.

  • Wendy

    Her dialogue is pitch-perfect. I love the facial expressions and everything about this.

  • Erick

    This seems too one sided. Bex is angry that this suicidal prone emotionally crippled man-child didn’t treat her as an equal? what does she want him to do? to strangle her? i get that she would be disappointed that the quiet and lonely dude in the room didn’t relate to her own quiet and lonely self, but, it’s been established that Mike suffers from severe mental issues and is highly dangerous to himself and others. is that the person that you want to treat you as your “equal”?

    • Erick

      I mean, it wasn’t even half a day that he had a total psychotic break on her and caused that both of them to be trapped underground

    • Becky

      Bex and Mike do go from being civil to yelling at each other at the drop of a hat. Heavy stress will do that to people! It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    • Margaret Hogg

      I don’t feel like having a near stranger go off on you on a bunch of stuff you don’t have full context for is the same thing as developing an understanding for someone’s long term emotional struggles. IDK, it feels like people are putting high expectations on Bex to intuit from honestly not a lot of interaction what we’ve been shown through direct exposition. It’s definitely a don’t meet your heroes moment, and given what we know about Mike, aspiring to be his friend was a terrible idea, but I think Bex is still justified in feeling hurt and disappointed at being dismissed so quickly for what, from her point of view, probably only seems like one reason? (Which also seems to be the reason she feels rejected by everyone else)

  • Yelena Rossini


    I’m loving this page. Some of the responses from other commenters are so strange to me!

    I see this as sort of the ultimate “never meet your heros” lesson. Bex loved Mike’s work, admired his achievements and dedication and intelligence. She is also someone very driven to achieve.

    To me it makes total sense that she might really want to meet Mike as, as sort of an avatar of the kind of scientist she wants to be. Her kids love Mike even though he is totally removed from them, and maybe she hoped one day they could relate to her like that, loving her for her achievements at a distance and as a person, rather than her feeling trapped and ‘only’ loved as a mom.

    But as is so often the case, our heros are people, not the idealized icons we imagine them to be. Could Bex have known, does she know anything about Mike’s past, his trauma, his deterioration, his current state?

    Without all the secret information we as readers have, Mike’s actions are almost incomprehensible, and even knowing everything and being totally sympathetic to him, learning all of this would be a huge blow for Bex.

    Even her hero doesn’t have it easy, doesn’t get to just enjoy his brilliance and accomplishments and the good company of other astronauts. Someone who seemed to have everything she wants, to be everything she hoped to be, is still sad and hurt and broken and mean, maybe in ways that feel familiar to her.

    That would be a hard and horrible lesson to learn, and in that realization you might be a lot more inclined towards anger and resentment than sympathy and care.

    • Kishimobot

      Love this comment! I never thought of the possibility of Bex seeing Mike as a professional or personal aspiration, but it would make sense if her family was familiar with the LeVi project

  • ProphetZarquon

    Such whiny humans…

    “I’m so sad! I’m so lonely! Why aren’t you nicer to me?”

    ‘I’m angry! I have *issues!* I’m uncomfortable around other people!’

    Meanwhile I’m wondering how the Processor will have to respond to an uncooperative invasive species its system. Nobody here seems to have any sympathy for the old overseer… Its got a delicate balance of ancient biology to preserve & the last thing I want to see is this carefully maintained biome dying off for the sake of two of these overpopulated plains apes getting home.

    Don’t get me started on LEVi; the way the humans treat nascent intelligence is absolutely appalling.

  • paranomasian

    Well, yeah,Bex is an idiot. That was clear from very early. What wasn’t so clear is that she is also very self referential, confused and, as the processor pointed out, malevolent. Should have paid more attention to the processor at the time.

    • JJ

      At what point / how was it clear that Bex is an idiot?

  • macksting

    You’re back! I’m sorry you’ve run into difficulty completing your book, but it’s so good to hear from you again!
    I’m gonna go tell folks there’s new Mare Internum.

    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.

  • Fawnet

    Threvi’s being awfully quiet.

  • Flancy

    omg you’re back hiiiii!!!!

    • shingworks

      hallo :D :D

  • Android 21 3/7

    Hmm… I’m not sure that was the right way to say that, Bex, but I’ll grant some leniency due to the unprecedented, high-stress situation. Survival situations bring out the absolute best or the absolute worst in people and even now you’re fighting to keep the ship from sinking. Besides, this feels like only the start of the argument and I eagerly await its completion.

  • Dogma

    In which baggage still keeps Bex from talking to Mike.

  • BlueSword

    Hey, I’m planning on reading your comic! But are there any content warnings such as violence or swearing? Thank you!

    • shingworks

      Sorry for the late reply! There is some swearing, definitely, and some body horror as well. I would almost classify the first 2 chapters as being more horror-heavy in general. Additionally there is the suggestion of CSA, which is definitely something I would keep in mind if you are sensitive to the subject (not for shock value btw, but is a part of the plot and character). I have a bit more info re: content warnings here on the about page. If you choose to read, I hope you enjoy it~

  • SSR

    “fine, Bex, go ahead and get abused as a child until you’re suicidally depressed and have severe dissociative episodes, then you can be just like me”.

    • LAYAN

      fuck what a stupid response to this page.

  • agent57

    Bex doesn’t even know any of this. Of course she doesn’t recognize it.

  • Margaret Hogg

    I can’t help but feeling some of the reaction to this comic is kind of a fascinating sociological study in itself.

    The extreme reaction some of the readers have to Bex is fascinating to me. There are so many expectations around her behavior, many of which hinge around things she doesn’t even know about Mike. I definitely get the sympathy towards Mike, but I don’t personally understand why it comes paired with such inflexible criticism of Bex. It might come from cultural expectations around gender and race, or it might come from Mike’s background being more familiar and well explored in popular culture, or maybe even just the expectation that Mike is the “true” protagonist as his storyline was established first. Whatever the case, it comes across as the feeling that Mike is justified in only considering his own feelings, while Bex is unjustified in not considering Mike’s feelings as well as her own. Bex might be “wrong” in her assessment here, but instead of “wow Bex, you dun goofed” some people are reacting with “the comic should not have let this character react this way, because she’s wrong.” Meanwhile, the same people are fairly sympathetic to the things Mike has gotten wrong, and have not questioned the way he’s written at all.

    At the risk of earning that feared SJW label, smells like privelege to me?

    • JJ

      Thanks for this comment!

    • Reikenbach

      I think it’s more to do with the fact that Bex has never been shown to be anything but serious all the time. By contrast, Mike has had multiple moments of whimsy in dealing with thighfriend, Levi, and landshark, all of which serve to make him a more relatable character. Hell, find a video of Hitler giggling while getting licked by puppies and you’ll get most people to smile.

      Mike’s interested in the alien world they’ve entered. Bex immediately went full murderhobo (complete with bindle) trying to escape.

      • Ben

        It’s more to do with the fact that Mike, right from the outset, was shown as a seriously troubled character. He has attempted suicide, or at least seriously contemplated it. He has unspecified medications, which he has neglected and/or destroyed.

        He has been shown to have had a troubled childhood, involving severe breaches of familial and parental trust, neglect and abuse.

        By his commander’s account, he has exhibited severely withdrawn behaviour, accompanied by things which are just not rational (attempting to sue his commander, for example) or grossly unprofessional (the destruction of LeVi) yet still, he retains enough respect for her to try and mitigate the consequences.

        Bex doesn’t show any of that. She arrived as an unknown. Her professional speciality is… viewed without enthusiasm by her peers. She has apparently abandoned her family from a mixture of professional ambition and post-partum depression, and tried to conceal that. She just isn’t a sympathetic character.

        • Margaret Hogg

          That’s cool. I get the reasons why people dislike Bex. Personally, I DO sympathise with her. Which is not to say that she’s worse off than Mike or anything. I sympathise with both.

          Also, none of that touches what I was saying about people judging Bex’s reaction here based on things she doesn’t know yet, nor on the seeming sentiment (from what I’ve read) that Bex shouldn’t be voicing her feelings at all here just because she’s less sympathetic than Mike. Like, saying people shouldn’t have a voice (or ignoring their voice) just because they have had difference experiences than you is definitely a central part of prejudice & privelege.

          • Ben

            … which brings us to why it’s impossible to conduct coherent debate through the lens of identity politics, which is its core purpose.

            Bex has, apparently, undergone a personal crisis which is quite common in real life, and which a great majority of women resolve by accepting the huge commitment of raising children, and a lesser number combine with some sort of professional role.

            This has brought her to take a radical course of action, the outcome of which she still struggles with. This, in turn, has led her into a situation which may well be lethally dangerous, and she can’t properly assess.

            She didn’t follow Base advice – to abandon Mike, and not follow him underground, which was a wholly rational course of action.

            She can now only justify herself (in her eyes; she is already behind saving professionally, although she probably hasn’t thought of that yet) through succeeding, and has no real idea how to do that.

            With all that on her shoulders, she resorts to a whiny, it’s-all-about-me outburst against Mike.

          • Kitty Serapha

            Replying to Ben up here.

            “Bex has, apparently, undergone a personal crisis which is quite common in real life, and which a great majority of women resolve by accepting the huge commitment of raising children, and a lesser number combine with some sort of professional role.”

            Oh good, we have the local expert on women here. You’re a bit behind on the times, though. Most women have both careers and children, if they have children at all. You don’t see stay at home moms very often past the first few years of a child being around.

            Also, you don’t “resolve” a personal crisis by having children. You know why there are so many bad parents out there? Because they never managed to commit to that responsibility, despite having a pregnancy.

            You can’t talk about identity without identity politics, and you’d be better off dealing with that then complaining about how people bring it up when it’s relevant.

          • Margaret Hogg

            Lol @ Ben I’m talking about the actions and emotional dynamic between two characters within the context of the comic, and you’re still just bringing up reasons you personally don’t like Bex and presenting them as everyone’s opinion. I’ll… Just leave you to it, then.

    • Nate

      How can you accuse readers of having unfair expectations for Bex’s behaviour when the story’s core conflict revolves around Bex imposing herself on Mike? She chastised Mike on the very last page because he couldn’t rebuild a multi-million dollar robot *with his fingers*. Then when he rightfully gets pissed off Bex pulls a passive-aggressive “sorry for thinking so highly of you” routine to shame him for being upset by her and Levi’s unbelievably petty needling. She’s a manipulative a-hole and to treat criticism of her character like it’s misogynoir is a disservice to real black women who don’t impose their problems onto strangers but are attacked anyway.

      • Margaret Hogg

        She was working under the impression, after they were first divided by the fall, that he would actually want to make it out of the pit as well as her if he was still alive. It confused her that he didn’t when they met up again, but after talking with the processor and realising he didn’t intend to leave, she pushed on by herself. He’s followed her away from the processor by choice. How is that an imposition?

        Also it was LeVi that said Mike “wasn’t helping” a couple of pages back.

        • Margaret Hogg

          Also, this entire story has shown on Mike whining and spitting hate at a bunch of other characters for his problems, throughout his life. And I’m not saying his general anger isn’t justified, but the moment Bex gets angry, people start criticise not only her character, but the comic itself? The way Der-Shing wrote the scene? Say the comic has just derailed into shallow SJW crap that has totally lost them?

          Criticize Bex all you want, but do it under the same terms you’re applying to the other characters.

  • Ben

    Well, I have three kids, my wife had a lengthy career break because of the children, and we’re still married, what’s your claim to expertise? Most women don’t have careers at all, you know? A lot of men don’t, either; they just have jobs, or no jobs as it might be at the time.

    People have families, and families need raising. We’d all be in pretty poor shape without it, as a certain Mr Samuel Clemens pointed out. You need to define your priorities in this life.

    As for identity politics…. if I was at the bottom of a deep, dark hole on an alien planet, with no idea how to get out, in the company of a seriously disturbed individual who was ploughing his own furrow (to say the least), I’d hope to be a bit more focussed than whining “it’s all about meeeee….”

    • Kitty Serapha

      The heck does what Bex is complaining about have to do with “identity politics” though? She’s having an opinion about a person.

      Also your second paragraph seems meandering conceptually. What’s your point?

  • Kim

    Bex is yelling at Mike but the way she words it is so important; all of her anger is seemingly directed inward. “I sought you out”, “I wanted to like you”, “I thought you were like me”, “I assumed you’d see me as your equal”. All of it is the failure of things SHE wanted, not necessarily all of what Mike did.

    Like another commenter said above, this is all very “don’t meet your heroes”. Sure, she’s frustrated with Mike, angry at the situation, exhausted and mad and probably damn well scared, but she is realizing that she put high expectations on this situation and it blew up in her face. Scared that maybe she left her life behind to pursue this dream that isn’t everything she envisioned and I think that is universally relatable thing. I feel for her, so hard. I hope she has a happy outcome, whatever it may be. I’m seriously rooting for her so hard.

    Thanks for coming back, Shing <3

  • Holter

    Black woman: *directly addresses power imbalance put into effect by a white man while trying to get them out of a terrifying situation while dealing with her own personal issues*


  • Sheridan

    > Finally, the dream scenario of the person you’re arguing with just shutting up and listening for once

    Excuse me while I live vicariously through Bex for a moment.

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