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  • auronblidook

    Oh wow. So that’s what she looks like to him.

    • non_canon

      We’ve actually seen it before around the beginning of No Rest For The Wicked, but I like how the spirit seems to change. There it looks hostile towards him, with the glaring, while here the raised shield turned towards where Harry isn’t looking seems almost like it’s defending.

      • JoseB

        Incidentally, Kate – one comic from “No Rest For The Wicked” seems to be missing! It is comic #06 of that chapter (March 23rd , 2012). It is not available, either by clicking in “next/previous comic”, or directly from the archive.

        • It’s available as far as I can see! Had this kinda blip before, it seems to happen just after a new update, check again now perhaps?

      • Ocean Burning.

        True, and I like how the colors also are somewhat different. There we see duller, more metallic colors, while here, we see brighter reds and purple and lighter, warmer aqua (rather than pale blue). The effect here is slightly psychedelic; perhaps the difference in colors suggests being more energetic or upbeat?

        • non_canon

          There’s also the difference in how she perceives him as well. There he was just some guy on the train who at best she doesn’t have to defend herself and Sid from, here he’s someone she seems to be considering a friend and whose well being she cares about.

          • Emily

            The concerned expression on her face in panel 3… <3

  • BaronHaynes

    Ahh, so he can only see his spirit inside the Witch Control Center™, but it’s a little too bright to look at

    • Darkoneko Hellsing

      I recall he really hates mirrors in the outside world, too.

    • Maria Gerasimova

      I wonder what will he do (won’t he be blinded again?) when two other witches shall be there, in this between-places spot, as in the note they’ve found was promised.
      They both have to have brightest aurae too, I think.

      • Me-me

        Maybe that’s why they left a note and a present instead of sticking around to help.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    It’s kinda ironic, she is sporting a purely offensive ranged weapon, but her spirit is fundamentally of a shielded defender.

    • billydaking

      Remember Nora’s?

      Wonder if all the Barbers have similar spirits.

      • Heylir
        • non_canon

          I’m actually interested to note that Nicola’s doesn’t have a shield of any kind. Nora’s courage definitely has one, since her courage was summed to protect Alexa, and I could see Harry’s having a shield since she’s A.) a guarded person and B.) a defender of others. But Nicola has shown herself to be that too, so it’d make sense for her to have something similar. Maybe it’s just that she’s extremely irritated about Mal and the circumstances surrounding him being in front of her?

          • Darkoneko Hellsing

            it reflets their current mood, after all.

            • billydaking

              Yup. Think of Voss’ spirit shape at various points in the story.

            • non_canon

              True. And with Nicola it would almost make more sense for her spirit to have a sword or a battle axe as opposed to a shield.

        • Stephen E Wilson Jr.

          Spirits are a reflection of the emotion currently felt. That is her anger or irritation.

          • Heylir

            Their colors are, but the form of (non-wizard) aura are more or less stable, it seems. For example, (mentioned below) Voss’ aura had a head of some beast, envious he was, sad or happy.

      • Ocean Burning.

        Well, that was Nora’s courage specifically, we can’t be sure if her spirit always appears in that form…

        • billydaking

          Alexa called it “Nora’s courage” on that page, but Rosie also confirmed that it was Nora she asked, “That was me?!”:

          “Courage” is a part of Nora’s and Harry’s makeup, thus it’ll affect their spirit form. I suspect that there are common traits that show up, which give visual clues to Mal (and readers) of the person’s true nature. Thus, a strongly courageous person’s spirit most likely could feature a shield, all the better to defend their friends and innocents with.

          • Stephen Riggs

            I wonder if Kate ever reads these comments and thinks, “Damn, I must be clever! I just thought it was a cool image.” ;-)

          • Ocean Burning.

            That does make some sense

  • Phlebas

    Heh. He’s more sure she wasn’t going to fall for it than she is.

    • CeruleanK

      Here we see the brilliance of it. Attacking the pride of Pride itself was secondary; what he needed to do was injure Harry’s pride with the idea that she might have fallen for something like that without his interruption. And to do that, he didn’t even need to say so.

      • Heylir

        Well, I see Mal’s words in quite different light, like power of trust and teamwork opposing manoeuvre of Pride that trying to appeal to one’s ego and “divide the team” with it. Envy tried to do this, too. It is quite natural as pride and envy are enemies of friendship (in the general sense), and vice versa.

    • Tikatu

      That’s because he can see her aura and has been able to see it all this time. He knows what kind of person she really is.

      • Phlebas

        Quite. He may not have been able to see her aura at that precise moment, being blinded and all, but he’s not just being optimistic.

  • Greenwood Goat

    This reminded me of a verse from The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt. Cue the parody:

    “You bleeder!” deadly Pride said, “You’re shitty and despise,
    How haggard is your dirty face, how bloodshot are your eyes!
    I have a little mirror-shard I brought along by stealth,
    And if I hold it up here, now, you’ll see your shameful self!”

    “Oh, up yours, bloody sin,” said Mal, “I cannot bear the sight!
    It always hurts to see myself because I shine so bright!!”


    • Me-me

      Lovely, but now I want to know what the original quote was.

      • Yotz

        “Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,

        How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!

        I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,

        If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”

        “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you ‘re pleased to say,

        And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

  • Emily

    I like how the first three panels show Mal’s vision gradually clearing – very effective!

  • Anne-US

    Love Harry’s aura. Love the entire story arc.

  • Ocean Burning.

    AW YISSSSSSSSSS …We are finally seeing the “in-between place” through Mal’s eyes for a moment!!! I’ve been waiting for this SO LONG XD
    Looks like he always and only sees physical things in greyscale, then…

    • AJ

      All we can see is the browny, swirly background though! :(

      • Ocean Burning.

        I know, right? But at least a glimpse is better than nothing!

    • Shee Soon Theng

      He had to ask what the colour of his welcome package scarf was.

  • TheGorram Batguy

    Curiouser and curiouser about the now officially contradicting accounts of Mal’s reflection.

    Also, I am quite amused about the return of the pipe-smoking-shield-maiden aura last seen when meeting unidentified drifters (Mal and Wolfe) on that freight train during the first adventure (when recounted from Jack O’Malley’s perspective in chapter 2, that is).
    Back then it made sense – she was behaving in a guarded fashion when confronted with potentially dangerous unknowns. Here, I suppose she needs her guard up mentally while facing these spirits – a fact perhaps enhanced by the ‘I wasn’t going to fall for it, you know’ that I find somehow not exactly 100% convincing. 85% maybe.
    Still, I find it remarkable how the two images seem to match up, including nearly identical color schemes, despite the differences in context. (Here, the colors seem warmer, which is not a coincidence, I’d guess.)
    Knowing Harry’s personality, though, it may just be that shielding her feelings from detection is a constant with her, and this aura is just about always there.

    • CountSessine

      Er, what contradicting accounts? Oh, you mean… away from the anchor, he can’t see his own aura in his reflection at all? But here in the anchor, a very different space, it’s dazzlingly bright?

      I don’t think that’s a contradiction, so much as… a data point about what it means to be a witch.

      • TheGorram Batguy

        I am very much inclined to agree. I suppose I ought to have written, “apparent contradiction”, for it is surely that, reconcilable in some fashion, as you point point.

        • Sir. Orc

          My personal theory is that the wizards are basically human anchors of varying strengths. This is why it hurts for Mal to look at them and why they glow so brightly: they resonate with the spirits in a similar way to the anchor itself, and this resonance becomes stronger as they get close. This might also explain why the anchor repels them. But the witch resonates with the anchor in an even stronger fashion than any other person can, and once they are near it the connection cannot be so easily severed according to Isabelle. So maybe that is what Mal saw in the glass: the manifestation of his own powers resonating with the anchor.

          That or Pride used some of it’s own power infused into the glass to change it’s properties.

          • non_canon

            I think you’re right, and I can’t help but wonder if now that Mal has accepted and come into sync with his anchor the headaches will subside.

      • Or perhaps proximity to the anchor has simply supercharged the power of his aura. Auras are sorta glowy things, after all. Wouldn’t it make sense for a more powerful aura to glow brighter? And if that’s the case, it would stand to reason that an extremely powerful aura would be blindingly bright.

    • Tikatu

      I don’t think the shield maiden is a symbol of shielding her feelings. I think it’s more an indicator of her personality. Vee called her and Sid “big bloody heroes”. So, here’s her heroic, shield-wielding aura, ready to protect or do battle (if necessary).

  • Tikatu

    Where is Harry going to put Lei’s mask? (Or the mirror shards, for that matter. They are now imbued, I think,) Are all the other imbued objects going to end up in a satchel or something? What will they do with the items when this is finished?

    • non_canon

      I am still holding out hope that they manage to get Nora and the phone together in a place that allows for her to watch the video.

      • Tikatu

        Me, too, actually.

  • AJ

    You know what I love about Harry? How undeniably gorgeous she is! I want her hair.

    • AJ

      I mean, of course, thats on the list after all the wonderful things we’ve loved about her over the past several years.

    • Ocean Burning.

      I love Harry’s hair (heehee) too, I love how red and swirly it is…

  • hariman

    But I’ll bet she was at least a little tempted, and conscious of it, thanks to Wrath nearly getting both of them.

  • EnnBee

    I wonder, seeing how Mal’s aversion to mirrors in the real world was due to the fact that he couldn’t see his spirit at all, now that he knows he actually has a stunningly brilliant spirit (albeit one that’s only visible in this space) if he will be more willing to look at himself in a mirror in the real world?

    • non_canon

      I can’t help but wonder if his not being able to see his spirit has anything to do with his not yet being in sync with his anchor, and now that he he will be able to see it.

      • EnnBee

        Interesting theory!

        • Ocean Burning.


  • Maria Gerasimova

    “Весёлое Рождество” (“Merry Christmas”) – a new fanfic by Heylir:

  • Dev

    Oh good, he’s getting his sight back. Was worried. :C ♥

    Love the hints of shielded spirits with Barber. ♥♥

  • JWLM

    I like how Harry is much more directly sympathetic with Mal than she is with Sid. I guess it’s because Sid, a boisterous puppy of a man, doesn’t need sympathy as much as he needs a leash, while Mal is actually pretty fragile.

  • Sonny Robison

    Is it just me or does Mal’s Black and White vision look differently than before? Before he could only see the spirits in color, and now it seems to me that there is just a hint of color in his view of Harry mixed in with all that grey (with her spirit still being fully colored)…

    Color me intrigued…

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