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Where I Read: Worm

RazorSmile

Threadkiller
Validated User
But everyone knows that severe high-school bullying is worse than mind-controlled rape. I mean, duh.
When the bullying is bad enough to cause a trigger event, yes, it is by definition exactly as bad as rape.

Even leaving that aside, Regent has extenuating circumstances (you know, being underage at the time and being mindscrewed by Heartbreaker -- arguably the Wormverse's most prolific rapist of mind and body both) that we know of.

SS's extenuating circumstances are considerably less explicated in the text.
 

sun_tzu

Registered User
Validated User
Jack Slash is perhaps one of the best executions of complete monster villain that I've seen in years.
Yeah.
I'm gonna be taking notes. *gets back to Saga of Soul*



Hey, don't forget Skidmark and his gang. They died too.
Ah, right.

Actually, I don't think so.

Her heroic career would probably have been more or less the same as her villainous career, plus or minus a bank robbery and a fundraiser attack. Not like she'd have fought Leviathan/the ABB/the Nine any harder as a hero.

If anything she's doing more good as an Undersider because she's being a good influence on her team-mates.
Hm...I respectfully disagree.
If there had been no Shadow Stalker involved, and Skitter had somehow ended up in the Wards...well, we've seen how much of a game-changer she is. On a larger team, with more resources, and actually dedicated to cleaning up the town? I think we've have seen a lot more jailed villains. Also importantly? Public victories for the PRT would have helped on a social level. There probably wouldn't be talk of condemning Brockton Bay at the moment. Taylor wouldn't have had trouble working with Amy during the S9 arc.
It's impossible to predict exactly what would happened, but I do suspect that Taylor could have made more of a difference heroside.




Ah. I misread you from the context. I interpreted "corruption" as a state, rather than a process. Still, I would argue that it can run in parallel to a process of redemption, and you can have different characters going in different directions. (Example: Kyoko rises as Sayaka falls.)
Maybe so, but I haven't seen much in terms of redemption so far - the closest to it we've had up to now is Regent.

I'll admit, I didn't realize the significance of "Don't swear!" until I read the comments. :eek:
My thought process, step-by-step:
"Tattletale" and "Grue" show up: "Oh thank God. Tatletale's powers are their only hope in this situation."
Two pages later, under no particular cue: "Wait a second! We have no way of knowing it's really them!"
Some frantic re-reading later: "Ohgodohgodohgodohgod, there's nothing proving it's them! Is that Jack and Bonesaw, or just Wildbow letting us get tense for a while?"
They want to call Coil: "Oh, whew. Guess it's them. S9 didn't know the Undersiders were working for Coil."
After reaching the end of that chapter, and reading some comments: "...Wait. S9 had Cherish. It's entirely reasonable for them to have known about Coil. And the commenters think that line is strong evidence that it's Bonesaw. Ohgodohgodohgod..."
After they start trying to manipulate Taylor into murdering Battery: "IT IS THEM! FUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUU!"

It's already clear that superheroes aren't interchangeably corrupt or evil. Just among the Brockton Bay Wards, we've seen a wide variety of personality types. Alexandria's covering for some pretty horrible things, but she and Doctor Mother still felt the need to deceive Legend. Weld is Lawful Good through and through, but Shadow Stalker is, well, Shadow Stalker. What kind of morality Armsmaster's messed-up mind manifests is dependent upon the time of day and the phase of the moon, Dragon believes she'd be a hero even if she didn't have to be, Miss Militia... well, you get the idea.
Yeah, I guess.






Did you find what Armsmaster did in the Leviathan fight bad? This is basically the same. It's very much bending if not breaking the spirit of the Truce as the S9 are S-ranked threats.
It's not quite the same. Armsmaster was motivated by glory. Piggot was trying to save a city which, as we're learning, is this close to being condemned. Motive matters.
With that said, I hadn't realized that Slaughterhouse Nine were an S-ranked threats and officially subject to the truce. And Piggot was trying to kill (or to the very least, sacrifice) several people who had neither murder not attempted murder on their file.
So...yeah, what she did was wrong. Not Armsmaster wrong, but wrong.

Most people don't have the power to create dimensional portals...
Makes me wonder at the situation in other worlds. Do they have parahumans and Endbringers of their own?






It just feels too much like... and I apologize for the TVtropesism... protagonist centered morality for my tastes. Regent is fun to be around, and he's the protagonist's friend, so he gets a pass. Sophia isn't, so she doesn't.
I do think that the Undersiders - Grue and Tattletale in particular - receive the benefit of Protagonist-Centered Morality from some fans.
Where Regent is concerned, though...Well, the thing with Regent is, with his background, it's kind of amazing he isn't worse. And more to the point, his interlude with Sophia was the only time he seemed to go out of his way to act sadistically - and even then, that was because he felt he had cause, for a teammate's sake. He's a monster, yes, but the fact that he doesn't really go out of his way to be monstrous to people much kinda puts him ahead of most villains in the story.
He belongs in jail, sure. But for now, at least, I don't really hate him.









Still thinking a lot about the Slaughterhouse Nine arc. Still curious about other people's thoughts concerning the interactions between Skitter and Jack.
...and still filled with burning hatred for the Slaughterhouse Nine in general and Jack+Bonesaw in particular. My mind keeps conjuring scenarios of them getting annihilated. I'm imagining Taylor somehow getting sent back to kill them. The Doctor (the Time Lord, not the cauldronist) inflicting the Family of Blood punishments on them. Commander Shepard killing them one-by-one. Some dude no-one's ever heard off incinerating them from orbit with a killer satellite. Princess Celestia bathing them in thermonuclear fire.
...My imagination can be a bit bloodthirsty at times like this.

Anyway...Only read two chapters today, but let's start with that:


Arc 15: Colony

Taylor's hanging out with Rachel, while working on fixing her fiefdom best she can.
In typical Taylor style, our heroine(-at-heart) decides that, despite everything, she should be Rachel's friend, at least for Rachel's sake.
Bitch has brought some of her minions with her, including Barker and Biter (who I hadn't realized until this point where capes). And...they're asking Skitter for tips on Rachel-wrangling. Justified, but somehow amusing.
"He started it." Ha!
Another of Bitch's minions is a vet-in-training. Then, with some prodding from Taylor, she gets a dog from Bitch. And what happened, then? Well, in Brockton they say - that the Bitch's small heart grew three sizes that day.
Taylor gives Bitch her new spidersilk costume. Bitch has trouble computing the concept of gifts, which is all kinds of sad.
Then she gives costumes to other Undersiders.
...They still have Shatterbird. I can see the tactical advantage, and if anyone deserves it it's her or her allies, but I don't think I'm happy with it. Not just because of the moral implications, but because it strikes me as begging for disaster. Every day Shatterbird is alive and outside the Shattercage is a dangerous day for the people of the world.
"I couldn’t forget the change I’d undergone, even if I didn’t have the objectivity to nail down exactly what about me was different from a week ago." Hmmm...
And now, in this meeting between Doctor Mindbender, Destro, the Baroness, Tomax, and Xamot, the beginning of a plot to unseat Cobra Commander is hatched! Soon, Serpentor shall arise, and... *gets shot*
OK, OK, sorry. More seriously, Taylor explains that, no matter how many times you've heard "all in", she is not willing to let the Dinah thing go. Grue...well, the devastation of Brockton Bay is actually leaving him in good position to resolve the Aisha problem, so it's not like he really needs Cobra Commander anymore. Alec figures the world is doomed, so, sure, why not. Bitch is making accusations against Cobra Commander - I dunno if they're fair, I don't really care, and I wonder if she's just using it as an excuse to help her friends.
One and half week before Dinah's precognition returns, so, this needs to be done before that, one way or another.
And thing is? There's this very real risk of things coming up "Skitter: No Man's Land". And if that happens...

Interlude. Apparently, Glory Girl's mom and aunt were abducted as kids (which, after a while, caused their trigger event). Mommy dearest developed some Stockholm Syndrome, and because of that, she has been compulsively distrustful of villains ever since. Which meant that Marquis, with his sense of honor, seriously grated on her.
Panacea and Glory Girl are MIA, and in the mess of the S9 attack, they were last seen with the Undersiders - who are now the main suspects in their disappearance. Dammit, is this building toward a New Wave vendetta against the Undies?
Tattletale contacts New Wave to arrange for a two-week ceasefire (presumably to focus on Cobra Commander?), and points them in the MIA sisters' direction.
Flashbacks to Marquis's arrest, and yeah, this was a guy who used his powers efficiently. And...Amy was six? How could she not remember at that age? I'd understand at three or four, but six? (And if Carol was so dead-set against adopting her, was there really no other hero family they could have given her to?)
In the present...
...
...
...
OK, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.
Amy's accidental mindrape of Victoria, her mental breakdown, her taking Victoria with her the way she did, and then accidentally turning her into a fleshy sculpture worthy of Bonesaw? Ending up in the Birdcage in the manner she did?
There are bits in "Worm" that I like, bits that I don't. But this? This I'm just not buying. It doesn't feel to me like a credible chain of events, or a logical conclusion, or a good story. To me, this just looks like tragedy for tragedy's sake.
And of course, now she's in Marquis's hands. We've already seen Amy is easy to manipulate, and insanely powerful. And I suspect there may soon come a time when Dragon cannot guard the Birdcage. So, yeah, I'm not seeing this ending well.



Sorry to be a bit of a downer here. Still looking forward to the rest of Arc 15, but Amy's grimd-arc just felt gratuitous to me.

Saga of Soul progress: Uploaded part 2 of chapter 21!
 

sun_tzu

Registered User
Validated User
Also: I'm blaming/crediting Worm for this, but now I want to play - or, heck, write - a strategy game where you play the director of an international superhero management agency, trying to manage resources and individuals in an attempt to protect the world from supervillains and stave off some kind of apocalypse.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
OK, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.
Amy's accidental mindrape of Victoria, her mental breakdown, her taking Victoria with her the way she did, and then accidentally turning her into a fleshy sculpture worthy of Bonesaw? Ending up in the Birdcage in the manner she did?
There are bits in "Worm" that I like, bits that I don't. But this? This I'm just not buying. It doesn't feel to me like a credible chain of events, or a logical conclusion, or a good story. To me, this just looks like tragedy for tragedy's sake.
And of course, now she's in Marquis's hands. We've already seen Amy is easy to manipulate, and insanely powerful. And I suspect there may soon come a time when Dragon cannot guard the Birdcage. So, yeah, I'm not seeing this ending well.
Panacea in the Birdcage was/is one of the more divisive plot twists of the series. There were a lot of arguments among readers about it for a long, long time; with some feeling that sending/allowing her to go there makes the PRT both evil and stupid beyond the bounds of credibility.

I sort of buy it, though it is perhaps gratuitously tragic. I can at least see how in her unstable, "I have villain blood and therefore I must be evil" state of mind, Amy might send herself there. And I can see how if Panacea starts saying things like, "You better send me to the Birdcage. Otherwise I might go crazy and unleash a bio-engineered plague that could wipe out humanity or something. Not saying I want to do that, but you know. I think about it a lot. That's all," that the authorities might not argue with her.
 

St.Just

Lacking all conviction
Validated User
I sort of buy it, though it is perhaps gratuitously tragic. I can at least see how in her unstable, "I have villain blood and therefore I must be evil" state of mind, Amy might send herself there. And I can see how if Panacea starts saying things like, "You better send me to the Birdcage. Otherwise I might go crazy and unleash a bio-engineered plague that could wipe out humanity or something. Not saying I want to do that, but you know. I think about it a lot. That's all," that the authorities might not argue with her.
I do agree, but on the other hand

a. Amy can pretty much do whatever the hell she wants with living matter, obeying Conservation of Mass
b. Marquis can create living tissue at will, essentially.

So, you know, possibly not the most well-thought-out decision.
 

Noliar

Registered User
Validated User
I was one of those who really didn't buy it. My objection to the decision was that there was no way the authorities should be putting someone - maybe the only someone - who can make counter-plagues out of reach when Bonesaw is at large. It's bad jurisprudence and psychiatry as well of course but that's hardly a consideration.

However, Just because there is currently no way out doesn't mean Dragon couldn't build one if needed and the Triumvirate know that they have access to Cauldron's portal maker so it's not as bone headed as I thought. If they assume that her father will act as a protector and stabilising influence (they may even have asked Dragon for her opinion on that - or not) then it's a safe, sealed, secure place to stash her.
 

RoadsOfShadow

Registered User
Validated User
Still thinking a lot about the Slaughterhouse Nine arc. Still curious about other people's thoughts concerning the interactions between Skitter and Jack.
...and still filled with burning hatred for the Slaughterhouse Nine in general and Jack+Bonesaw in particular.
I think it's a really strange kind of rivalry. They are both frequently underestimated individuals who are both of the right kind of mad genius to be very effective at whatever they decide they want to do. It's made somewhat worse by the way that Jack seems to see Skitter as a lost opportunity, perhaps the greatest lost opportunity oh his entire career. Take a second look at the times when he talks about her powers and how she uses them, mostly when he was pretending to be Grue. He regrets not trying to recruit Taylor sense in another time and place, she would have be the jewel in the Slaughterhouse's bloody Crown. Her powers are already perfect for how they operate, and can you imagine her working alongside Bonesaw?

Taylor has the problem of, in her own mind, slipping further and further from where he started, look at the scene where she has come back to her lair, she fears becoming a monster, and she sees that monstrous potential in her heart in Jack, who you might recall as being described as rather unremarkable looking.

OK, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.
Amy's accidental mindrape of Victoria, her mental breakdown, her taking Victoria with her the way she did, and then accidentally turning her into a fleshy sculpture worthy of Bonesaw? Ending up in the Birdcage in the manner she did?
There are bits in "Worm" that I like, bits that I don't. But this? This I'm just not buying. It doesn't feel to me like a credible chain of events, or a logical conclusion, or a good story. To me, this just looks like tragedy for tragedy's sake.
And of course, now she's in Marquis's hands. We've already seen Amy is easy to manipulate, and insanely powerful. And I suspect there may soon come a time when Dragon cannot guard the Birdcage. So, yeah, I'm not seeing this ending well.
Yeah, this is not my favorite part of the serial. Hell, I can get having Amy end up in the Birdcage, she is one of a handful of people on the world who might honestly be able to flat out kill everyone and everything alive on the entire planet. And in her despair and stress, she spends too much time thinking about that fact, and well if she stars rambling about it all the time, well...
Oh a related note, Amy has one of the most horrifically abusive childhoods I have ever seen, and I'm a fan of Nanoha.
No seriously, Brandish is just a terrible mother who beat horrid idea into the head of the, in her mind, monster she was expected to play mother too, made worse by the blatant favoritism she showed to her other daughter. How Amy is capable of functioning in society at all is a mystery to me.

Also: I'm blaming/crediting Worm for this, but now I want to play - or, heck, write - a strategy game where you play the director of an international superhero management agency, trying to manage resources and individuals in an attempt to protect the world from supervillains and stave off some kind of apocalypse.
XCOM: Justice League style? I like this idea.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
Oh a related note, Amy has one of the most horrifically abusive childhoods I have ever seen, and I'm a fan of Nanoha.
No seriously, Brandish is just a terrible mother who beat horrid idea into the head of the, in her mind, monster she was expected to play mother too, made worse by the blatant favoritism she showed to her other daughter. How Amy is capable of functioning in society at all is a mystery to me.
Okay, I must have missed it or skimmed past it on my first read-through. What did Brandish do that would make it a horrifically abusive childhood?

All I can recall is that she was evidently kind of cold to Amy and never really able to love her, but I must have missed some kind of overt emotional abuse from the way you're describing it.
 

katreus

yAhLoR~!
Validated User
Hm...I respectfully disagree.
If there had been no Shadow Stalker involved, and Skitter had somehow ended up in the Wards...well, we've seen how much of a game-changer she is. On a larger team, with more resources, and actually dedicated to cleaning up the town? I think we've have seen a lot more jailed villains. Also importantly? Public victories for the PRT would have helped on a social level. There probably wouldn't be talk of condemning Brockton Bay at the moment. Taylor wouldn't have had trouble working with Amy during the S9 arc.
It's impossible to predict exactly what would happened, but I do suspect that Taylor could have made more of a difference heroside.
Possibly, if the SS issue were solved satisfactorily. It's not clear it would have been because the PRT and Brockton Bay in particular don't really understand synergies and the importance of someone who can take advantage of them. To be fair, this is not an issue limited to BB but to parahumans in general.

It's not quite the same. Armsmaster was motivated by glory. Piggot was trying to save a city which, as we're learning, is this close to being condemned. Motive matters. With that said, I hadn't realized that Slaughterhouse Nine were an S-ranked threats and officially subject to the truce. And Piggot was trying to kill (or to the very least, sacrifice) several people who had neither murder not attempted murder on their file.
So...yeah, what she did was wrong. Not Armsmaster wrong, but wrong.
S9 as a group are S-ranked. There are several other S ranks too, but most of them hang out in other parts of the world so we don't see them as much. And I don't really find the difference between what the two did all that significant. It's not like Armsmaster wasn't trying to save the city as well by killing Leviathan and he bent the rules because he didn't actually kill the villains (assisted murder, I suppose). IIRC, her own side warned her about this and that she could choose another method and Piggot deliberately chose that option because it would also (probably) kill the Undersiders.

Makes me wonder at the situation in other worlds. Do they have parahumans and Endbringers of their own?
I think there's been some talk on Earth Aleph already in the serial and we know they want shit all to do with Earth Bet's (crazy) situation. But more specifics will come up later.

Still thinking a lot about the Slaughterhouse Nine arc. Still curious about other people's thoughts concerning the interactions between Skitter and Jack.
Lot of similarities there, no? Jack may be a darker, twisted version of Skitter's competence and skills - but obviously with very different morals.

Flashbacks to Marquis's arrest, and yeah, this was a guy who used his powers efficiently. And...Amy was six? How could she not remember at that age? I'd understand at three or four, but six? (And if Carol was so dead-set against adopting her, was there really no other hero family they could have given her to?)
I always thought it was an extremely bad idea to put poor Amy in a hostile family situation.

Amy's accidental mindrape of Victoria, her mental breakdown, her taking Victoria with her the way she did, and then accidentally turning her into a fleshy sculpture worthy of Bonesaw? Ending up in the Birdcage in the manner she did?
Lot of pressure on Amy throughout her life. Tt exposed the fault lines and Jack firmly pushed her over the edge. There's no good answer when a biotinker of her skill demands to be put into prison (although perhaps they could have found somewhere other than the Birdcage to stash her).
 

Jim Lee

New member
Banned
Gave Amy a moral compass which didn't read Right/Wrong or Compassionate/Cruel, but instead Superhero/Supervillain.


Fuck her.
 
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