361 – The Whole Place is Coming Down

Discussion (44) ¬

  1. CartoonistWill

    Wow, I never knew I had such a horrible gambling addiction / kleptomania. Shame on me. Shaaaaaaaaaaame!! lol

    I’m loving panels 1 and 2 here because I feel that without them the last big comic could mean something entirely different. What I’m saying is, I’m glad to see Spy Gal’s reaction to this and also Cap’s in these first two panels. The next two panels seem to come abruptly (but on purpose). But I think this is acceptable as it was the means to bring Cap to the last panel where he says he’s “Good where he is.” Interested to know what’s going on in the Cap’s head right now. I have to admit I’m a little frustrated he hasn’t gone after her yet. How is it that a webcomic’s fictional characters has me feeling frustrated? I’m not sure, it’s actually a new reaction for me. I’ve been reading comics almost all my life and I just realized this is probably the first time I’ve ever been frustrated at a character’s choices. Am I that invested in the character of Captain Spectacular and his relationship with Spy Gal? Good writing, Brock, good writing.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Thanks, Will. But… you really need to get yourself to a clinic or something.

  2. Infamous Nefarious
    Infamous Nefarious

    Maybe he’s hoping the ceiling collapse will kill him? I mean, we both know it won’t. He’s really seriously determined to not do any more heroeing tho…..

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      No, he’s determined to WIN!

  3. Si Civa
    Si Civa

    Well, when he is alone no one can judge him anymore. But he soon finds it’s not quite the fun it is. Especially with the pants. It’s not just the same with the pants man.

    Also I just can’t understand why Marc’s version of Captain reminds me of David Gilmour… ..but then again he was once Brian May so I guess guitarists come natural to him…

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Yes. If everyone leaves the casino then we WILL see a scene of Captain Spectacular removing his pants!

      Or maybe not.

  4. LakeofGlass

    LOL, Will. I’m seeing you in a whole new light. I half expect the next panel to show Mandie clubbing you and pulling you by the collar somewhere in the background.

  5. Manly Yams
    Manly Yams

    I… don’t really like this plot twist. There is something to be said for gambling addicts, but.. I thought that he had decided to fight after Tom was “Killed”. Now he’s spouting this “deserves a rest” garbage? And doesn’t even chase after Spygal?

    …. Eh. I just.. really don’t like this twist. Cappy Spec made progress up until now, and suddnely 3 steps back?

    • Bryan

      It is kind of…surprising somehow.

      • Brock Heasley
        Brock Heasley

        I see where you’re coming from, but it’s possible Cap has real reasons for his behavior here. What does everybody else think? Is Cap acting out of character?

        • Chris Blanchard

          I would have to say, no. He’s acting pretty much the way he has right from the very beginning. The only person he has ever really trusted in Valhalla is Dr. Klein, and the last time we saw the two of them together, he slammed Cap pretty hard. So, no, I’m not at all surprised to see Cap acting this way. It’s pretty consistent with the story, and with what we know of Cap from the Origin’s stories, too.

          • Manly Yams
            Manly Yams

            Ehhh… I have to disagree. This isn’t the way that the story really played out Spectacular for me. Yeah, he’s sort of self-important, and glad that he’s retired, but at the same time if Spygal was upset, he seemed more likely to do something about it. This time he seems.. Almost gleeful with his negligence, something that I was giving the impression that he had actually come to terms with and gotten better with as a result. That’s why I think this one is out of character.

            Honestly I would have even settled for him running out, then running back to put some sort of sign on the machine like “Out of Order” to prevent anyone from taking his seat. That would have been funny as well, and conveyed the message of “lol gamble abuse” as well. IMO, of course.

  6. quarktime

    He’s not a gambling addict. He’s heroism-phobic.

    • CartoonistWill

      Possibly both. Or he has ADD and the pretty lights and noises of the machine distract him. I can relate when it comes to video games and TV.

      • quarktime

        I sent Brock a share to a Google Doc of my expanded thoughts on the idea. We’ll see what he thinks.

        • Brock Heasley
          Brock Heasley

          I hope everyone has had a chance to read Gwen’s great guest blog, “A Psychoanalysis of Captain Spectacular.” I believe if you scroll down below these comments you’ll see it.

  7. Spike Matthews

    The more this arc goes on, the more I am convinced he’s been brain-washed. No way he’s going to sit there while all that is going on.

    • CartoonistWill

      I really don’t know at this point. I was guessing a possibility of Dr. Rocket or Jerry having something done to him between this chapter and the end of the last chapter, while we’re busy focusing on Captain Russia – I mean, Soviet Sam, lol. But I just don’t know. I think he was himself but was too distracted by the slot machine. Now he’s busy thinking maybe. Hurt and not sure what to do. I guess Jerry was sadly right. He’s not a man of action. He likes to sit around and let things take care of themselves. Maybe if he had more of a back bone, especially when it comes to women, he’d be a better man today. If he wants to win Spy Gal back, he better act now and prove that Jerry is wrong.

      We were recently reminded by another’s comment as to strip #301, I believe, where the two Swifties of future and present discuss Spy Gal doing something. I always assumed she marries Cap and Swifty doesn’t approve. But it seems apparent now that something far different may occur. Excited to see what happens. Really want to kick Wilbur in the rump right now, but excited.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Brainwashing? In the SuperFogeys universe, literally anything is possible.

  8. drew

    CartoonistWill Has a great point in his last comment. the Captain has always shown himself to be kind of the type that isn’t REALLY a man of action and prefers to wait until most things kind of fall in place. Where as Jerry has ALWAYS wanted to be a man of action and never been given the opportunity…

    The writing is phenomenal like Will i’m actually a little frustrated with the captain just sitting there. His whole world just walked out on him i’d personally show a little more concern…

    I have to admit i’ve been more engrossed in this story arc than i have ANY other arc, it’s really shown a totally different side to a LOT of the characters, from Swifty (both of ‘em) to the redemption of soviet sam, so this…nonchalant really don’t care attitude of the captain. Keep up the great works guys!!!

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Thanks, drew! I really see this story arc as a culmination of everything I’ve been doing with SF so far and I’m glad your interest is at an all-time high. I think it’s okay to feel frustration and anger towards characters–it’s investment that’s key. I know the direction this chapter is taking isn’t a hit with everyone, but it’s just one more step in the larger story I’m telling. Much as it is a culmination, there’s soooo much more to come.

      • CartoonistWill

        The direction is fine to me. I think it’s just that Cap’s actions in and attitude in this arc will make more sense and be more enjoyable digested with the earlier arcs and in a lesser amount of time, instead of over a period of several months. I think that’s what’s been throwing people off. People like me. Maybe that’s why people feel that he is acting out of character? So, uh, I’ll be looking forward to hopefully getting the complete SF trade one day if you guys make one, but until then we all have the archives to go back to.

  9. tmcelmurry

    Wow, what a strip today. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it but this is my view on what I’m seeing here.

    As she walks away he does nothing cause I feel he honestly doesn’t feel he deserves her or happiness at this point, thus he’s just letting life go by and not fighting for anything. When Will comes up and talks to him, Will’s words touch two different things to me, so let me break them down as I feel them.

    1. “The Whole Place is coming down”. Sure it’s a physical place coming down, but also the Captains world has been cracking around him and to him emotionally things are coming down as well, so those words can also point to Cap’s personal life coming down.

    2. “Get yours while you can”. This to me speaks to Captain about Spy Gal, his love who is now walking away. Sure he could jump up and “Get his while he can.” but instead he stays where he’s at in his own self loathing.

    Thus his last words “Nah, I’m good right here.” resonate with me showing that he has officially lost his will to fight back against himself and is ready to just accept that life’s not going to get any better.

    I’ve known that the Captain has been down for sometime but he always continues to turn around and I’ve never allowed myself to see him as someone battling depression, but I do now. Something has to drastically change for him to turn around, but he has to first want to make himself snap out of it. I know that’s a long comment, but that’s what I felt when I saw today’s strip.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Todd, sometimes you are too insightful for your own good. You’ve taken a simple strip with simple dialogue and seen much more there than is on the surface.

      Ain’t storytelling fun?

      • CartoonistWill

        I’m a guru of spiritual wisdom! … And I steal poker chips! Weee!

  10. Jande

    I haven’t read all the comments here (too hard to read the black on blue as we’ve discussed on twitter) but I wonder if anyone can really consider how a person can react to the kinds of loss the Captain has experienced in such a short period of time. Loss and grief can change you. Especially the “survivor’s guilt”.

    Right now I’m more angry with Spy Gal than with Cap. Leave him alone to work things out. At least he isn’t allowing her to manipulate him into doing what he simply can’t do right now. She does have a manipulative, controlling side.

    That they love each other I have no doubt. That doesn’t mean they can have a decent marriage.

    This is epic storytelling. Thanks Brock.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Working on the colors… I promise…

      You’re right about love not being enough for a decent marriage. People have to want the same things. It doesn’t seem like Cap and Spy Gal are on the same page in that way.

    • CartoonistWill

      The text is fine on my monitor. Until Brock works out the colors, adjusting your monitor’s colors and brightness level might help. :-)

  11. mkinyon

    Marc, if you’re reading the comments, bravo for panel 2. It says much more than anyone’s comments could say.

    Brock, add me to the list of those who cannot really read black on blue.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Noted, sir. Working on it.

  12. Javier

    Wow, I haven’t commented in a while, but I’ve been keeping up. I’m kind of afraid of this turning into an “Ooh he’s messed up his relationship and regrets it, then proves himself and beats Jerry” thing. Obviously there’s going to be other stuff going on that will keep things interesting. But I am a Captain Spectacular fan and can only hope this gets resolved in a satisfying way. Knowing Brock, it most likely will be a good end, whether he gets SG or not, so I’m optimistic.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Hey man, good to hear from you again! Wondering where you’d gotten to. The end of this chapter is approaching and I can promise a wrap-up to this Vegas stuff. What that means I’ll leave for you to discover…

  13. theasley

    This seems to be about who CS is as a person, more than anything else (gambling addiction included—which, honestly, doesn’t exist in my opinion). I think it just boils down to what he feels when he hears of some needed heroic act. I think he feels anguish over a lot of the things that have happened to him in his life, from the Jorbons through his marriages, to Tom, to now. I think the world (Spy Gal included) is moving too fast for him, and he’s finally taking a step back and thinking for once.

    Does that excuse his behavior here? No. But I can see a part of myself in him, in that some days I wake up and think, “I need to slow down and take a breather.”

    In the Captain’s case, he has lived a life of spectacular events. Is it so wrong to yearn for something ordinary?

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      That’s the question isn’t it? Does Cap’s lifetime of service and sacrifice mean he deserves to take this break and have this attitude? Some say yes and some say no.

      Not time for me to weigh in one way or another.

    • CartoonistWill

      I guess you’re right. I didn’t think of that before. That maybe Cap’s refusal to return to superheroics is actually in reality him running away from the regrets of his past. He’s screwed up too bad in the past being a superhero and he wants to run away from that. No more. I can relate. I thought I was going to be a missionary and was training for it, but got kicked out of Bible College. To top it off I was always kind of legalistic when I should have been loving but just didn’t get it. Among tons of other failures. So I avoided that for a few years because I was afraid to fail again. I was a prisoner to regret and sadness and for a while was not able to break free from the bondage of fear of repeating my past. For me, I was more comfortable staying out of the battle and off the battle field than engaging the enemy – what I was running from – head on. But in the end I was the only one holding me back, preventing me from succeeding. Maybe the Cap also feels depression in this sense that he is so afraid of failure that he is afraid to try? He had a few or more years to think and heal and to forgot, but recently his best friend and son died (or seemingly died). Well, the shapeshifter who he thought was his best friend but who ended up becoming a best friend, that is… And maybe the knowledge that he didn’t really let the REAL Dr. Rocket die – but someone he didn’t even know – maybe that helped him move on. But thinking that he lost his son, before his very eyes, and did nothing at that moment or later – even if he is or thinks he is doing the right thing by leaving justice in the hands of the heroically inept CS2 or others – this is tearing him up inside, causing old wounds of failure to open up again, and now he is afraid. He is afraid to act, afraid to be a hero, but ultimately afraid to fail. He feels that his actions can only lead to absolutely nothing but failure. And so he sits. And sits. And sits. Failing because he doesn’t act at all. And he knows this, only adding to his feelings of regret and depression, worsening his state, and making it even more crippling and disabilitating to his spirit than it already was.

  14. mkinyon

    OK, here is my latest take on this (which will change after the next update).

    To be a hero, you don’t have to be a man of action, despite what Spy Gal seems to think. As Lehi the Space Pig said at the beginning of the chapter: “All you have to do be a hero is just get over yourself.” I don’t know if Cap is completely over himself, but I think he is now doing something he thinks is the right thing. He is deliberately breaking up with Spy Gal and pushing her (metaphorically) into Jerry’s arms.

    The whole gambling addiction stuff, even though I think I might have been the first one to say it, has never really rang true. Even the bit in the airplane where Cap acted like he did not want Spy Gal and himself to hang out with Jerry seems, in retrospect, like an act. I think that Cap thinks that Jerry really would be better for Spy Gal than he is.

    No, he doesn’t know who Jerry really is. No, he wasn’t expecting a robot attack. But Cap is, like most heroes, an opportunist, and he has realized that there is no time like the present to do what he thinks will, in the long run, make Spy Gal happier. He is staying out of this fight on purpose so that Jerry can impress her.

    So much for the theory of the day.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Wow, now that’s a wildly different take. Nice work seeing it from a completely different angle. Is it possible Cap has noticed Jerry’s moves towards Spy Gal?

  15. artisan54

    im trusting that brock will surprise us all. but right now very confused in cap’s actions or lack there of

    • CartoonistWill

      Gwen (QuarkTime)’s psycho analysis of our dear Captain has helped me gain the peace of mind I need to stop wondering and frustrating for a while.

  16. Valareos

    Time to play.. list the loose ends! Thats right, there are several loose ends that I dont think many people think about that I think will be VERY important to come.

    Such as, the fact Tom is still quite alive, just trapped in a room with no doors.. no windows… hmm.. Point is, Jerry took the effort to ensure that he did not kill Tom, but needed to make sure Dr Rocket thought he had held up his end of the bargain.

    Lets not forget Zurida, who is destined to make a return to take out Spygirl. What will happen if she comes back to find CS now walking and able to take her side once more?

    Or Mega Matt…who should be in the present time SOMEWHERE.. knowing of what Swifty warned him about Jerry, he would have literally had plenty of time watching, waiting.. and preparing for the right moment to save the day! Who needs superpowers when you have accidental time displacement?

    And will we see the Society of Heroes show up? I mean, come on, this IS their job isnt it?

    But to those who are psycoanalyzing CS.. can you point out the time he stopped being a true hero? Even at the formation of Society of Heroes he would rather sit back and let things happen. A hint can be seen in the origin of Harvey. Look close. Dr Rocket used to be a hero, and a “Sidekick” to CS! listen to how the kids describe Dr Rocket and CS! Dr Rocket, his close friend, turning away from the hero business would have been the beginning of the downfall of the Captain. Note also at this time he is married to Samantha Roberts as well. So looking back to the Six wives of the Captain, You can see in the next to last panel, Dr Rocket is in Hero gear, but last panel he is in his standard Dr Gear. My bet is that last panel happened within a week of Dr Rocket turning evil. Losing your best friend to the dark side, then seeing your best friend kill your wife? Yea.. right there is the start. Everything else is a symptom of THIS moment.

    So why is the Captain gone downhill? He is the brawn, Dr Rocket has always been the brains. Remember, CS was kept in the dark to dull his wit and his mind. He was supposed to get the intelligence enhancement but never did. Without Dr Rocket, CS was just brawn with no direction. And without Samantha Roberts, he had no body to pull him up.

    • CartoonistWill

      Good points. I didn’t forget those loose strings though. :-) As for the Captain, who can say? I think you bring up some extremely valid points however. Couple it with what Gwen of Quarktime theorizes and it jives together even further. Guess a lot of things have happened in Wilbur’s life that he has had a hard time getting over.

      Note: CS didn’t love Samantha though. She loved him, so maybe she did pull him up? I dunno how accurate that thought is, but I guess you are right.

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