I was tempted to call this page “Bitchslap. OF DOOM!” but I thought that might set me on an irrevocable path.

Keeping it non-lethal in a real superhero fight would be incredibly difficult. Super strength would be a particular offender. (Also any kind of energy beam.) Maxima made some assumptions about that guy before she casually backhanded him across the room. He’s big and muscular, but not obviously armored, yet she hit him hard enough to stop him dead in the air and even instantly reverse his trajectory, knocking him back 10 feet. A regular human /might/ have survived that, after all, you can see fail videos of people riding bikes into trees, doing backflips and landing on their face or neck, walking away from horrendous car wrecks… But – most likely if Max slapped a regular human out of freefall, they would die enormously. For now we can assume this guy was tough enough to survive with a smashed up jaw, a kinked up neck and a concussion. But that’s just it, if he had been tough enough to ignore getting hit by a car, Max’s bitch slap (which is surely this guy’s new nickname) would have knocked him back but barely caused him to blink otherwise. Estimating just the right amount of force to use against an unknown opponent in order to knock them out on the first hit would basically be impossible. A hero concerned with not killing anyone would start all their fights out with the most innocuous of taps and escalate slowly from there… Assuming he didn’t see bullets or cars bouncing off him or the baddie didn’t start the fight by announcing that he was Concrete Man, and the hero being the experienced guy he is knows roughly how tough concrete is.

Oh and don’t worry, the whole fight won’t be the good guys one shotting all the bad guys, but having the heroes dispense with some chaff makes the villains they can’t backhand across the room feel more threatening. Sort of a reverse Worf Effect I guess. Or… setting up for the Worf Effect? I don’t know.

This comic also debuts my first cameo for one of the people supporting the comic at the $50 level over at Patreon, Megan Durham. The options were “you or a character of yours” (keeping in mind that I’m not really a portrait artist.) But Megan presented me with an option I hadn’t considered, “you as a character.” If this tells you anything about my creative process, instead of “rebranding” one of my planned villains, I wound up coming up with a new one, which is our teal haired friend with the 6… things floating over her shoulders. Don’t worry her powers are entirely different from Halo’s. I rather like the powerset I came up with, and Megan will benefit from having her cameo extend for quite a few pages before meeting a suitably ignominious defeat. :) We’ll call her Dark Megan, or better yet, Hex! That way she can say stuff like “Hex yeah!” cause that’s what I do to people who give me money. Actually, so far all the people having their characters cameo as villains in this fight will get a few pages out of it, cause that’s how I roll, because seriously, $50 a month? That is way more than a cup of coffee.

 I (and possibly some of the other comic creators in the final 4) chatted with the guys over at ComicMix and suggested it would be better if these final rounds got a bit of an extension from the original Friday-Sunday schedule when none of the comics in the bracket actually posted a new comic. This round now extends to Tuesday at midnight, the finals start on Wednesday and will extend I think through the end of the week, where any of the comics that might advance have another chance to promote the tournament in line with their regular posting schedule, so if you haven’t voted yet, I’d appreciate if you took a few minutes – seriously, open the ComicMix page in another tab then continue browsing for a few minutes, their page is really slow. While you’re waiting maybe you can check out Grrl Power’s competition in this bracket. We’re up against MonsterKind, which is quite nicely drawn. At the time I wrote this we’re ahead, but not by a huge margin, and they could rally. Remember, vote using the checkboxes under the brackets, not any of the links within the brackets.