Oh boy! Something’s happening!
That is a very accurate to life pistol in panel 5. Very nice.
Panel 5? But I do have to agree, very nice semi-auto.
You beat me to the confusion there… But yes indeed, it’s a very nice looking gun.
Whoa I love what you did in that third panel.
I loved the third panel, too. The draining of the color from everything except for his eyes and the steel of the pistol is absolutely fantastic, and adds to the shock of the moment.
He looks so old…
People look old when they’re terrified. Heaven knows why…
WHAT IN ALL THE FUCK.
HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP
Yesss freaky mutant powers GO!
Mind if I toss forth some quick critique?
There’s a rather extreme expression change between panels three and four. It feels like good ol’ Doc goes from absolutely morbid terror (color drained from his face, life flashing before your eyes, etc etc) to just angrily staring forward and frowning. It’s like, for someone who’s about to get shot in the face, he sure looks accepting of his situation.
I think what I’m trying to say is that panel four doesn’t really feel necessary from an audience perspective, and the change in energy and emotion feels a bit derailing.
I don’t know if it’s accepting his situation or more of going from absolutely terrified to pissed off/grumpy.
Only because I can see the Doc being pissed at being shot in the face. Who wouldn’t be?
Something extremely silly happened between panel 3 & 4 but we don’t get to see it.
I’m not sure he’s angrily staring forward. Given the lack of creepy red glare, I think he’s closed his eyes. I see that panel as Stein accepting his fate. Although I’ll admit, it took me a minute of staring at it.
Oh wait, I see it now! He’s flinching! Curling up inside himself as if it will help him get away from the bullet.
yeah, his eyes are closed. Haha, I blame the glasses and the smallness of the drawing that contributes to that not being clear. Anyway, the purpose of drawing back was to slow the moment down and uh, make it more clear that there are enough guns trained on them to keep Armastus from flipping out, I guess? To emphasize the situation. Not so much the emotions on the characters. Though I wish I had simplified schtein’s face more to make it more clear. Did an ok job on Armastus I think. He looks really weird up close. Check out my sketch blog, I uploaded the full closeup there.
Yeah, it made me think that this was what the warden wanted to see, and not what was actually happening. But since other people pointed out that he has his eyes closed (and flinching), I can see it if I squint. So I think the problem is that the panel is not zoomed in enough.
I agree with ewitwins in that the mood change between panel 3 and panel 4 slows the whole thing down, because the situation gets from tense (Doc staring into the deadly end of the pistol) to static tableau (the Warden aiming the gun but still not shooting) back to dramatic (sudden stuff happening to the guards).
I DO however believe that panel 4 is neccessary, it has to be there so that the audience gets an overview of how many guards are there and how they are positioned.
I believe that the page would work better if the panel order between panels 3 and 4 was reversed: Panel 1 – 2 – 4 – 3 – 5 – 6 – 7. Switching panel 3 and 4 should be easy to accomplish.
That way, the events would go from
1) Warden taking the gun (panel 1),
2) close-up of Warden cocking it (panel 2),
3) overview tableau of Warden aiming gun at the Doc’s head while he is flinching (panel 4),
4) camera zooming in on the Doc as he is staring upwards expecting to get shot in the face (panel 3),
5) Warden being interrupted from pulling the trigger by something happening to the guards (panels 5, 6),
6) Warden grabbing the Doc as hostage (panel 7).
I think that if his head were tilted downward in Panel 4, in more of a cowering position, it would look more appropriate.
Panel 3 is a disappointment to me. So many panels and expressions and faces have been so perfectly done, and his face here falls short. It’s the shape of his chin, largely… too different to look like Schtein. But perhaps that was part of the method of conveying terror? Someone else says that people look old when they’re terrified, and that’s what the small chin does with Schtein.
It feels like there is a panel missing between 3 and 4. One in which Armastus makes a snarky remark or someting which takes the edge of the doctors terror and leaves him just angry.
I know that wasn’t what she meant but really. That’s funny. Everyone wants a piece of Stein.
The Warden knows you secret Phineas. She knows your secret and has the balls to call your bluff. She must die now.
classic deus ex machina
Nope. Sorry. A deus ex machina comes at the very end of the story and is not hinted to AT ALL and throws the story as it removes it from the realm of predictions and possibility that the normal characters can solve their problems.
What you see here is perfectly acceptable plot development. A being (Kevin Abel) has proven in past interactions to be able to do things outside the physical realm. He had not acted prior, due to the Warden’s electro-magnetic-shield being up. When Schtein detonated the bombs, he knocked out the shield, leaving Abel free to act. This is a perfectly logical chain of events that is fully supported by past developments.
Compare: The end of the Odyssey where Odysseus and Telemachus has slain the suitors, all men of high positions in the surrounding kingdoms. Odysseus stands outside his home and is surrounded by a mob about to tear him to pieces, suddenly from nowhere, Athena descends and tells everyone to piss off and go home. And they do. THAT is a deus ex machina. Odysseus has no options, he is completely at the crowds mercy. He is about to die. There is no way he can talk his way out of it, and the damage will be catastrophic if he starts slaughtering people (plus he’ll still probably die). It looks like Ithaca is going to be burnt to nothing, Penelope and Telemachus will undoubtedly be killed and suddenly TADDDDAAAA solution, from a completely outside source, throwing the whole flavor of the story. Suddenly, we go from a Clever Hero surviving the very Worst, defying the Gods, look here is the Ingenuity and Courage of Man to… welp, lets just wait on help from Olympus. (It is suspected that the last book of Odyssey was tacked on years later, of course, the entire story is likely a conglomerate, so you know).
my, that’s a lot of helpful, interesting information.
Yeah, heh, can’t be a deus ex machina, him showing up doesn’t even qualify as a plot twist. :Y
*class civ nerd alert*
I would agree that the ending of the Odyssey is a deux ex machine after the way Odysseus handles all previous encounters against far stronger if not more numerate foes. I wouldn’t agree that the ending goes against all the themes of the book though, the main ones being xenia and heeding the warnings of the gods, as well as the ultimate power of the gods over fate. Odysseus makes a conscious effort NOT to defy the gods, having seen its consequences in battle and with his own men, for the precise reason that he enjoys having their favour. Such major intervention from Athena is however, as you say, unprecedented and unexpected.
On a more comic-related note, great page! The smoke effect really has improved since we last saw it. I didn’t realise how much the art had progressed. Well done :)
Si tacuissem, philosophus mansissem…
I. Love. His. Face. It’s too amazing for words.
Aw, jeez, Krow. You’re bleeding a little pool around yourself…
I swear, every time you update, your coloring gets ten times better.
Awww I love this page so much. It’s so pretty.
I love the doctor’s face in this one. You got the perfect balance of “eep!” and kicked kitten
Well, he was a little late, but then I don’t think he would’ve stepped in to prevent Krow’s death anyway. Smokeman for the win!
Also, can we get a blowup of panel four. I’d love to see it in bigger detail.
I posted it to my sketchblog, if you didn’t see
You know. If he’s that much trouble, maybe you shouldn’t have had him secretly abducted in the first place?
Brilliant page as always! I never really comment but i just had to put on that everybody needs to go vote at ComicMix :D! link to comicmix.com
I have no idea how you create all this in one week. You are a god of comics.
(dat third panel, dat bad trigger discipline, dat second panel)
I never leave my room, basically. I’m a pale, shrivelled smelly god I guess
The facial expressions are wonderful in this page. Who’s the warden yelling at? Her companions just collapsed with the help of the strange purple-y things. Quick Phineas, grab the Doc and run!
that’s kevin, the magical black guy :D
the last time we saw his powers the comic didn’t have color though, nice purple.
link to stringtheorycomic.com not true! :D They’re in color here. Though, it’s not as cool lookin’ ’cause it’s old.
Oh wow, he really does have powers, then? I just assumed it was dramatics.
Hmm, if Cain can do freaky-purple stuff, what can Abel do?
whaa..? Who’s Cain?
Nobody, there is no Cain in the comic. Commenter was confused about names, I suppose. C:
i’d like a poster of panel 4. or a wallpaper. or a postcard. or something.
aaaaaaah god i love the look on elizabeth’s face in panels 5 & 6
god i just love elizabeth in general she’s so goddamn BA thank you for making such a rad character beckey
Thanks! I like her, too! She’s really fun to write/draw. I dunno why, but big powerful ladies are just the funnest.
Your art style consistently remains my favorite. Love it <3
Called it. The explosions cut out the power damper, and now Ms Badass warden ain’t got no more protection. Way to go, Doc. And go, Abel!
Ooh, supernational stuff. I guess Krow has a decent chance of coming back. It seems sudden to kill him before fully exploring the depths of how messed up he is.
This comic just gets more and more stunning with each page. It’s so great to see an artist’s style evolve like this. :)
String Theory is, without a doubt, my favorite webcomic.
Also, hooray for magical negroes!
(In before accusations of racism: link to en.wikipedia.org)
That’s not exactly a compliment
Abel ISN’T one. D:
Haha, but if Abel was a magical negro he’d be helping Schtein turn into a “competent, successful, and content [person] within the context of the American myth of redemption and salvation.”
Instead, I’m assuming Schtein slowly turns into MegaMind :D
I’m sorry, it wasn’t my intention at all to be offensive in any way… it was just sort of a stupid joke. :/ Also, I’d never accuse you of lazily using dumb stock characters… that’s actually something I really admire about your comic- you really put a lot of thought into your characters and their development in the story.
Ah, I didn’t think your comment came off as offensive even if Abel isn’t a magical negro. But while Becky’s characters are trope-worthy, they’re too fleshed out to be stock characters. She puts the “Schtein” in “mad scientist”. Pretend that makes sense haha.
Haha, oh it does. The way I see it, tropes are inescapable. “Nothing new under the sun”; “Every story has been told before, every ‘new’ story is just a retelling” and all that jazz… What good writers do, IMHO, is to not stick to stock characters and lazy writing, and instead try their best to come up with something ‘new’, something which tries to be as strange and unexpected as life. But now I’m just rambling…
I laughed at Schtein’s face in the last panel.
He kinda looks like a muppet. Haha.
link to youtube.com
I see we had a black and white moment there.
And it’s full of pathos.
GOD DAMMIT GRUNDY. D: WHY IS THIS COMIC SO AWESOME? *rage*
I hate to say it… but the grayscale “death” panel is… slightly humorous. But I’m not sure why… I think his face is over-distorted, maybe, so that it is more comical than sad. Less is more?
It’s cause of the exaggeration of his mouth. Lets us know how he’ll look when he takes his teeth out 50 years from now
I like how the comic goes from color to black and white in the panel which is basically the moment when the Doc is staring death in the face. Very fitting considering that Schtein can only seen in black and white.
Although technically if it was from his POV we’d only see down the barrel of the gun. But maybe the Doc has a kind of out-of-body “Oh shit I’m about to die and I’m watching myself piss myself in fright” experience. ;-)
haha, best “I’m too important to die!” face
Three things I love about this page:
the way the warden just isn’t impressed by armastus at all
psychic black guy becoming a more plot-significant character, finally!
I wonder if the Warden is somehow immune to Abel’s powers? He took out the thre guards, but not her, despite she was the one pointing the gun at Schtein. Dramatic narrative license? Or does she carry a small psy-blocker field generator, pocket-sized?
She had a psychic powers blocking field installed in her prison, that can’t be a common device. Or is it? How common and well-known are psychic powers in the world of String Theory, beyond people talking about “mutants” (most of which is probably overly dramatized stuff they saw on TV)?
It’s both common and not common in that people don’t think about it like that.
Abel is unique, the field surrounding the prison wasn’t intended to keep out his powers, it was intended to keep out other things.
So, no, pocket field, perhaps he just wanted to talk to her.
I love the cute little kicked-puppy look Schtein has in the third panel. Gnee!~
She has no trigger discipline.
okay so the doctor in one is saying to himself please dont notice me then in two hes saying fuck shes noticed me then in three hes like shit shes going to kill me fuck this is the end then in four hes like why does this have to happen to me goddamn the world and thats about it
and through the last three panels he’s just like “What the fuck?” over and over.
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