The man in the mirror

Sorry about the lateness of today’s strip. I injured my wrist (the non-drawing one) but it’s a pain nonetheless to use keyboards right now. Which you need to letter a strip. AWESOME.

And anyways… we root for David because he’s the main character. Doesn’t mean there isn’t another side of the story. And people in the past *have* pointed out in the comments that he’s borderline delusional at times.

Got something to say? Leave a comment!


  1. Steve says:

    @Malcolm and anyone who defends Richard. He is actually worse. He is gloating diplomatically to remind David that there is nothing that he can do about it. First statement is to disregard his brother’s concerns over what he is doing which could screw up a long time friendship of his. Even ignoring the rules about getting into an actual relationship with a sibling’s friend Richard does not sound to be pursuing a genuine relationship with the attractive lawyer with a rumor for chasing supers. He then claims that he was ignorant of his brother’s feelings because they haven’t talked in years. Diplomatic way of of calling someone an ass for not calling. Also puts blame on David for not knowing and let’s not forget that he is dating or is on a date with Angela and could have, I don’t know, talked with Angela about having a conversation with the brother who despises him to reduce awkwardness or hard feelings so as not to screw up his close friendship? You know, Angela, whom he sees every day. Then look at the way he describes their relationship. He uses “to an outside observer” when he calls them just friends. We know this isn’t true because their sister, the familial relation they both share whose party this is for, said the two having feelings for each other was obvious. Even assuming he is an asshat this is family, family talk. This phrase also isolates David. It says if he thinks there is anything between them then HE is the only one because to an outside observer… This little folly also puts him into the observer category. He has knowledge of their relationship and interactions as an observer which means he did consider David when this started between Richard and Angela and shrugged. The whispered aside about his mother more illustrates that the only reason he isn’t starting a fight is lack of support. If there was even the slightest inkling in his mind that anyone would side with him he’d probably pick a fight. This includes Angela who would probably see him as an ass picking on David which he is. His last statement on the matter is a more detailed way of saying “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.” The reason people don’t like playas is they cheat. It’s their game board. Their pieces. Their rules. And of all the people in the game they are the only ones who walk away without being hurt. Mostly they will grunt in contempt. Richard is a superhero and a playa with a grudge against David. He has the potential to be a supervillain very easily. All he needs is just the slightest… little… push.

    Personally, I say it is time to introduce a new supervillain. One of his ex-girlfriends now calling herself Bombshell.

  2. Wolfen says:

    Aw man, whatever happened to “bros before hos”?

    That being said, I think they’re both right to an extent. They’re also both wrong, and Angie isn’t entirely without blame, either… I’d elaborate, but I think everything there is to say has pretty much already been said.

  3. MacDiver says:

    I kind of find both at fault here. While Dick is right about her being able to date who she wants, David is right as her friend to know what his intentions are towards is friend. Dick has shown himself to be a jerk in the past, and being a jerk messing with his friends should be a concern. But placing her in a position of ownership and objectivation is a jerk thing to do as well. Most people grow out of that view by the time they get to be David’s age, usually even younger.

    Granted, considering how “well” David gets along with his family, he should probably excuse himself, wish his sister a happy birthday, disapper in the crowd, and leave to go home. He’s just going to stew and be angry, he needs to make a break for it and get a distraction going. Now that he has more employees than just a robot washing machine, it would be a good time to book a vacation alone.

    • Sylent says:

      I don’t think Armando would use a vacation for David as a trasition piece for his gaining maturity. Besides, his father’s court case starts the day after the party. Of course it would be a major insult to his sister to leave before her grand appearance and I hate to think what kind of reaction he would get from his mother.

      However, these two events together, and seeing how the whole family is in town, probably means something.

      • MacDiver says:

        I completely agree. WIth all that is going on I doubt that David will be going out of town or walk out on his sister as far as story design goes. But it just seems that his family is a giant source of grief for him, justified or not. If he doesn’t come to terms with them or makes a clean break, he’ll probably go nuts.

  4. Greg says:

    Dick’s an opportunistic… well, you know.

    • Flaagan says:

      Man… we’re just having too much fun with this guy..

      I’m actually curious as to what Kal thinks of Dick…

  5. Flaagan says:

    Not to defend David’s side of things, cause his bro is quite right, but wth is a guy to do when you’re the only non-super in a superhero family? I mean, come on, his best friend is a washing machine, and even he’s got more powers than David.

    Now.. to lay some heat elsewhere, it’s not exactly fair to David how Angie’s been kind of stringing him along with mixed signals. Also, Richard is being a bit of a Dick if he at least didn’t talk to his brother about her first.

    Also, perfect time for a new girl to show up. Maybe he just needs a fling to break his shell. ;)

    Finally, props to Armando… usually that much of a wall of text leaves a comic being a ‘tl;dr’ for me, but the writing here definitely keeps my interest. :)

    • K says:

      A fling to break his shell that turns into something…more. Say if Juno changes her mind about dating her boss. Once RD gets what he wants from Angie (my opinion of RD is very…low…to say the least) and dumps her, she’ll see David with Juno and happy. Realizing that that could’ve been her, but she just has to chase the powereds around…

      Ideally, if/when Juno & David got married, she’d be the Christmas Cake at the wedding…(not too fond of Angela recently either). Flash forward 30 some years as Duno is surrounded by grandkids and Angela’s in Atlantic City chainsmoking and playing the nickel slots.

      • Sylent says:

        I think Juno will stay the inevitable female friend that keeps David moving in the right direction verses anything romantic. That’s not to say Armando may move things differently years and years from now beyond what he already has plotted, but like any writer, you can’t always see where your characters are taking you till you get there.
        As far as a fling goes, I think I’d lose some respect for David if he hooked up with some girl just to get over Angela. Of course these things happen in real life, but sometimes people know better. However, a sincere relationship with another girl that doesn’t work out in the end would be fine.
        I’m thinking Lady Justice.

        • Chris says:

          Angie had plenty of time to tell David she was going with Red Dolt, but chose to surprise him at the party. That’s pretty cruel, given that she knows how he feels about both her (at least when drunk) and presumably his brother. It also shows a deep lack of respect for him… her saying in #253, “let’s take it slow and see if there’s anything there” immediately gets negated when she goes out with his brother. Especially when it’s the brother who has treated him like crap his whole life.

          Maybe David will grow up a little, but I think with his low self esteem he’s more likely to become an alcoholic. Maybe he’ll meet a nice ex-super heroine in rehab.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Smashing strip today! Deep, truthful, emotional, wonderful drawing of character motions/emotions. Do I like it ’cause I am a chick? Or because it rocks? :D

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, a female perspective on the characters behavior is definately appreciatated.
      The present view of some people about getting revenge on your brother because he asked a girl out that you were to slow to approach is kind or revealing. As RB said, Angela is “neither a toy or his.”
      On another note, this could be some weird form of brotherly love to get David to do something and take a more aggressive stance instead of sitting on the fence. A lot of guys (and girls) have lost out because they waited too long.

      • K says:

        It’s not so much about getting revenge because RD asked out Angela, but rather that it seems to be a continual trend throughout David’s life that RD has been nothing but a dick to him. Angela could finally be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. You can’t be a jerk to someone forever and not expect something to happen in return.

  7. Duke of URL says:

    I hope you get all this soap-opera crap out of your system soon, and get back to being entertaining.

  8. K says:

    First time commentor, relatively short time reader here. Just wanted to say a couple things.

    First, I dig this comic big time. Really like the way the art has evolved over time, which is pretty noticeable when one reads through the archive in a short amount of time. Also digging the story. That being said, leads me to the second thing…

    IMO, David needs to tell Angela that she should probably find other places to be so long as she’s dating Red Douchebag. Ya, ya, I know, it’s kinda immature, but really Angela is also being immature. Dating a disliked brother of your “friend” and waiting till something “big” event comes up such that the “friend” can’t do or say anything without coming off as the jerk? That’s being more than a tad bit passive-aggressive.

    I’m a big fan of not only burning bridges behind me, but salting the earth as well, and let’s be honest, Angela will [i]never[/i] look at David in a romantic light (at least sober). If it was me, I’d tell her to go get bent.

    Now, things that David could do to get back at Red Douchebag…there’s a couple of types of people one should never piss off. The first being people that handle your food. The second being those who provide services that come into contact with a wide diversity of potential enemies. David falls into the latter. He could offer some enterprising young villain free drycleaning for a year if he just happens to make it his mission to make Red Douchebag’s life miserable. Drop a subtle hint about any vulnerabilities or weaknesses. Don’t underestimate the appeal of free cleaning…

    • TxSonofLiberty says:

      Airing his brother’s dirty laundry all over the laundromat? Inconceivable!!!

      Sorry, sorry… had to make the pun… and the cheap Wallace Shawn reference.

      But seriously, we can already see that Dave has a few other avenues… both from the text here and statements by Dave from the the past, we can clearly tell that Mrs. Messiah, her royal highness, the Queen (Hey, guys, until we get a proper name for her, shouldn’t we stop objectifying her as Dave’s Mom and as The Messiah’s wife and give her her proper due respect by addressing her at least by her given title of The Queen?)… The Queen pretty much favors David over all but his baby sister (and there is good evidence to say that the only reason she picks Dani over David is because Dani is the only offspring she had who can carry on the family’s royal alien obligations) so Richard rightfully fear’s their Mother’s wrath AND we know that the Queen does like Angela and might actually think Angela is an acceptable mate for David (heck early on it was hinted that she practically was trying to match them up by remote) so she and Dani both might blast Red Dou… I mean Red Bolt.

      So lets see… Dave’s List of Options(including fun ones without previous discussion):

      1) Talk with Angela
      2) Do unmentionable things to his brother’s unmentionables
      3) Take the Evil route and trade services and information with villains in exchange for mass tormenting Richard
      4) Telling on him to their Mother
      5) Telling Dani and letting her yell as Richard (seriously, this is potentially a lethal option)
      6) Telling their father that Richard would love to hear about the trials and tribulations of a senior superhero (less lethal, but potentially far more traumatizing)
      7) Telling Kal that Redbolt thinks he’s developed superior superstrength and intends to surprise wrestle with him, but will never admit it to Kal so he can have the advantage (that way Kal crushes Richard in a headlock or a fullnelson or something… hey, Charles Xavier and Bruce Wayne have both proven a broken spine can’t stop a real superhero)
      8) Tell the Evil Chef that Redbolt said his cooking tasted like dogfood (Which of course then means Evil Chef will make Richard act like a dog in heat for the rest of the evening… Hilarity ensues)
      9) Introduce Juno to Richard… Allow time for Richard to prove himself the ass in front of Angela and Juno… Let the ladies do the dirty work.
      10) Tell Leopold that Richard wants to be disintegrated because he forgot to get Dani a present. Clean, neat, no evidence, and it means he can claim Richard’s present is from himself instead (really, with him claiming the present and Redbolt not around to argue the fact, all evidence will confirm that Dave was telling the truth)
      11) Tell Bob that Richard is holding Flounder hostage (Dick isn’t Kal, he will get taken to the cleaners by the child-like robot)
      12) Dave can choose to be the better man, enjoy the night, wait patiently for Dick’s true colors to show, and then be the hero when he goes George Mcfly on Biff… er… Dick’s face, saving Angela’s honor and showing that he is a member of that Super family.
      13) Soak all of Redbolt’s attire in food Quork loves to eat and tell Quork that Richard always has the stuff on him… let the Duck do all the Fowl play.

      • K says:

        How about calling her MQ for “Mother Queen”? Short, to the point, and accurate. Or just Q. Though that has been used before, but since she is fairly powerful… I don’t think it’s so much that she likes Angela, as I get the feeling Q would try to match David up with an eggplant, provided it could give her reasonable grandbabies.

        Examining some of your aforementioned options:

        1) Pointless. She’ll just defenestrate. Or reiterate that they’re “just friends”. Neither one of them is ready or able to have that conversation whilst sober.

        2) Fun and entertaining. Though I doubt RD brings his clothes into David’s shop (maybe he does, don’t remember for sure). If he did, it might be fun to stick itching powder in his costume or use some dyes that are invisible to normal human sight on it.

        3) It’s not really “evil”, so long as he doesn’t mention anything inherently fatal. More annoying than anything else, which given RD’s seeming personality, would be most excellent.

        4-7) Problem with these is that they are directly traceable back to David. When going for revenge and you have a power level disparity of that amount between David and RD, you want plausible deniability. Using a villain gives him that deniability.

        8 ) I had forgotten Evil Chef in my initial post. He would make for a most good revengering.

        9) RD strikes me as the kind of person who is good at being two faced. He wouldn’t allow Juno and Angela to see him as he really is. David knows what he really is after a lifetime of dealing with him. He also strikes me as the kind of person who is good at wheedling out of punishment from the parents. In other words, the kind of guy who makes for the perfect rotten big brother.

        10) Still ties back to David. Leopold is probably more loyal to the parents and Dani more than David. He’d give him up in a heartbeat.

        11) Ties back to David. Plus could result in Q dismantiling Bob.

        12) David already is the better man. Enjoying the night isn’t going to be possible for him. I’ve been in pretty much that exact situation (minus the powers). Plus, Angela seems to me to be a woman who would be angered at David for “saving her honor”.

        13) Usage of a duck as a murder weapon. Wonder if there’s statutes about that?

  9. Sylentknight says:

    Wow. Nothing like the facts to mess up truth (as we see it).
    Now the worse thing David could do is tie one on or go out of his way to make moves on another girl. That’s not to say that RESPONDING to another woman’s attentions would be wrong.
    For now he needs to play it cool, let Angela know how he feels in a sober state, and move forward while that door is still closed.
    As for Angela, we know she has a power fixation so her intentions toward Red Bolt places her integrity into question also. Secondly, we honestly don’t know how long they have been dating or how far things have progressed. None of the characters (other than David’s little sister) are kids and I think we can all agree that the growth of the David character includes a little maturity.

  10. Rude says:

    David’s brother made no argument. David asked Angela out (in vain), Angela knew exactly how David felt (drunk confession) and she still chose his brother, for reasons yet to be made obvious.

    • Sylentknight says:

      I’m going to lean in Angela’s favor and assume that RB asked first and as much as I David I think his way of dealing with things or immaturity (along with Angela’s power issues) is something that keeps her from looking too deeply and considering him more than a friend.

  11. OhHaiMe says:

    Though he does make a good point Richard is monologuing rather like a villain. It’s entirely possible he did indeed know that David was interested in Angela ( He seems quite astute at reading what David is thinking) and had planed this whole encounter to make it look like David is just acting nuts and that he was in the right.

  12. AJ says:

    Red Bolt looks better withOUT his eyes actually being drawn. Makes his mask look “cheap”, in my opinion; like he couldn’t afford a real mask that could hide the identifiable parts of his face: you know, his eyes. :P

    Seriously, though, RB looks better with the Spider-Man mask look. With the eye parts of the mask nothing but white. More expressive and comical for a superhero.

    Also, Angela looks great in the seventh panel. Not so great in the last. Still hawt, though!

    • TxSonofLiberty says:

      I’m sort of wondering about his wearing a mask in the first place… isn’t that a tad bit insulting? This is his baby sister’s party, his brothers aren’t wearing masks, his mother is in a fine dress… I think he should take the mask off for the party. What is he afraid of? That someone will recognize him? Somehow someone will put 1 and 1 together and get 2 that he is Richard and Red Bolt? I’m thinking that unlike Kal… Richard looks very much if not exactly like Dave (maybe slightly older and no glasses) so he doesn’t want to be mistaken for his Laundromat running little brother (and doesn’t want Angela to see how much they look alike so she realizes how attracted to Dave she really is)

  13. Baughbe says:

    Don’t you just hate it when your enemy is right?

    Excellent storyline Armando. Well done.

  14. Malcolm says:

    So Richard is not an utter ass worthy of our undying loathing?

    Dammit, there goes the entire community psyche.

    • adamas says:

      Now, he still is going to recieve my unbridled loathing. But even an ass speaks truth sometimes.

      • AJ says:

        Indeed. An ass is an ass because they aren’t so much of an ass as to lie to your face. In simpler terms: An ass is an ass BECAUSE they tell the truth. And some people can’t handle the truth because the truth hurts.

        Anyone that isn’t telling the truth is not an ass. They’re just pretending not to be one.

  15. Canadian Otaku Gamer says:

    Curse you, Richard, and your evil use of logic!

    Seriously though, I’m once again surprised here. I was sure Dick was going to use this as a chance to gloat over David, but he’s made a good point.

    Last week, I mentioned that Angie was giving off the signals of a woman who has made a really bad call. And let’s not mince words, it was a bad call. Even if David wasn’t interested, dating his brother, especially one that he dislikes,was going to come back to bite her. But, at the end of the day, it was her call, not David’s.

    Now, I totally get why David is pissed, but right now he’s got to keep his cool. If he flies off the handle over this and does something stupid, it won’t help him out. What he needs to do is go somewhere and vent for a bit and remind himself that Dick’s unlikely to get a second date out of Angela anytime soon.

  16. June says:

    I don’t think this is very exposition-y at all. It’s a balanced view of the other side of the story after he was initially made out to be the “bad guy” like he said. This is… surprisingly deep and intelligent. Great character growth potential from this. Can’t wait to see what happens next :)

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