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  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    Hey, the executioner isn’t masked.
    I guess it has a bit less of a stigma over there than in our world.

    • GristleMcNerd

      He’s totally wearing a fake beard.

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        I can’t unsee that now. Hope you’re happy.

        • GristleMcNerd

          Oh, very.

      • That has to be real. Who would make a beard like that? Anyway, how do you half wear a fake beard?

    • Nonesuch

      Possibly this man is so hated that the executioner feels no one will so much as give him a funny look if they see him buying a loaf of bread or a pint of ale in town. That was the main reason executioners wore hoods, isn’t it? To preserve their ability to live among their fellow people without being ostracized?

      Or possibly this executioner just doesn’t have a social life outside the prison community…

      • Darkoneko Hellsing

        I have to agree with GristleMcNerd, he definitly wearing a fake beard :D

  • An unusual reaction to one’s impending execution . . . is he bluffing or does he have a clever plan? Hopefully it’s a clever plan!

    • Disloyal Subject

      I doubt he’s bluffing. The question is whether or not the plan involves dying; I think it does.

      • Michael Brewer

        If the plan doesn’t involve dying, it had better involve a special axe, a fake head, and a bribed executioner and/or undertaker. Given that I really doubt anyone could manage that, I’m betting on the plan involving dying and/or magic.

        • Nonesuch

          Maybe he’s set something up with one of the Seven Sins? That way, his essence would get tangled up with them and allow them into the mortal realm in return for enabling him to influence the world.

          • Well, if (as has been suggested) his magical attempt against the Queen involved doing away with all that “Virgin” silliness, Lust would be a logical patron.

          • Wyvern

            Since his eyes appear to have no pupils, I suspect he’s done more than just ‘set something up’ with one of the Seven Deadlies. More likely, it’s one of them that’s doing the talking right now.

            • Alliecat

              I noticed the lack of pupils as well. A possession or a contract with one of the seven seems likely, especially considering the effect that the deal with jealousy had on Voss’s eye.

    • Not a clever one, no, but he does have a cunning one

  • Gimby

    Presumably that’s Lizzie the first? In which case, BTW, the flag on the Tower shouldn’t be a Union Jack?

    • Zwack

      Yes, but you know that this is fiction, and of the type known as alternate history… So if Kate Ashwin wants Elizabeth the First of England to use the Union Jack then she uses the Union Jack.

      Of course the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth the First of Scotland.

      • daboarder

        Or you know, lets not destroy scottish identity and nationality any more than we can help

        Seriously if this had been a portrayal of another cultural group the effort would have been made to ensure at least even basic accuracy was accounted for

        • Oh no, fully believe that I’ve messed up on small details for many other cultures! Hell, look at the comments when things were briefly set in Prussia. I’m just one person, I make mistakes, sorry about that, but do me the courtesy of not being rude about it.

          Edit: Changed it to the Royal Standard.

          • daboarder


            I love your stuff and i get that people overlook things. All good in my books and normally i wouldnt mention it. The brusqueness of my comment was not the result of the flag used but more others (posters not you) dismissal of the point raised.

            Thank you for the change.

            • Fair enough, it’s all good!

            • Zwack

              Hey I resemble that remark… And for the record I was born in Glasgow and lived in Edinburgh for most of my life…. at least the first 25 years….

            • Me-me

              Just while we’re all apparently discussing this;

              We don’t know what’s a mistake and what’s artistic license. We can only shout loudly into the void about anything inaccurate, regarding things we know and/or feel passionate about.

              Those that do not do this, say nothing: One does not hear them.

        • Darkoneko Hellsing

          Well, that escalated quickly.

    • Euodiachloris

      How many people reading this would recognise Elizabeth’s personal standard? (Which it would be, with her in situ.)

      • Nin

        I’m guessing that, since this webcomic is viewed by lots of people who aren’t English (British?) and don’t study heraldry, the artist went with a flag that is recognizable to all but the most isolated of us as the English / British / “that one rainy island place with an empire and two famous queens.”

        • AJ

          Don’t you guys have three famous queens? Two Elizabeths and a Victoria, right?

          • Nin

            *shrug* Not my guys. I read the mythology, Shakespeare, regency romances, romantic poetry, and Victorian lit, and I’m fascinated by Richard III, but my actual knowledge of England & co is pretty spotty.

            • daboarder

              the union of the crowns is fairly basic history

              • Sanjay Merchant

                For Brits. For us Americans, not so much. Heck, we barely know our OWN history.

                EDIT: Also, even if we don’t understand the flag, I think the Tower of London, the Beefeater uniform, and the Queen’s Bigger-Ruffs-for-Everyone outfit kinda give it away. (Your mileage may vary on which of those is the most recognizably English.)

          • Euodiachloris

            Lady Jane Grey was queen in her own right… for barely a fortnight from the proposal being drawn up to Mary I doing a damn fine impression of her father (also a rather famous queen, our Bloody Mary, Mary Quite Contrary). Then there is the other Mary of William-and-Mary fame (joint rule for the win). Anne before them also counts (poor thing: all those pregnancies, and none made it close to twenty). You’ve heard of Queen Anne’s lace, right? :)

            And, depending on who you ask, there is Matilda. ;) Oldest and most controversial one of the lot.

            • Sapphire altera

              *Anne was after William and Mary, but otherwise great list :D

    • Kenneth Graves

      Queenie! Kent should have gotten her a non-cursed prezzie.

    • Splendour

      My first though was ‘Must be a re-enactment.’
      My second though ‘..or is there going to be one hell of a mess of time travelling paradoxes to clear up?’

      • davidbreslin101

        My first thought- “Ohhhh, so this story will show us that one of the Deadlies has actually been loose for about 200 years!”

    • Curtis

      Whether it is the correct flag or not, that is not the union flag. That is the Queen’s flag signifying that the monarch is in the castle.

      • I changed it earlier, it was a union flag originally.

      • Curtis

        I see a little farther down that Kate has addressed the flag question. This is appropriate. After all it is her world that she has been so kind to show us. :)

  • Cooper

    “My ancestors are smiling down on me, Queen Elizabeth. Can you say the same?”

    • ShadeTail

      It seems more like he’s smiling at himself. (Yes, I know the reference, just saying.)

    • MoeLane

      You assume that Gloriana is not herself versed in the Way of the Voice.

    • Nonesuch

      “If someone smiles down on you, you are beneath them. I want my ancestors to look UP when they smile upon me!”

  • McFrugal

    Well that was a short chapter.

    • Qwefg Lockheart

      And thus the joy of immortality… can’t help but wonder if the next panel shows his head saying “Ow? Well I guess my cover is blown.”

      • Matt [in Middletown]

        I think the movie was “The Borrowed Year” or some such.
        The Green Knight, after being beheaded, says from the floor “Body, come to me!”
        And then he picks up his own head, reattaches it, and smiles.

        • svartalf

          And quite a good movie it really was.

          • Matt [in Middletown]

            I had people tell me that I was terrible for laughing at the “BODY, come to ME!” scene.

          • A C

            Ah, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’s one of my favourite Middle English poems.[*]

            [*] I may be a huge geek. Who read it in the original.

            • kuku

              Me too me too! Overall enker-green! Here’s a Gawain winter weather report:

              Now neghes the New Yere and the night passes,
              The day drives to the derk, as Drighten biddes.
              Bot wilde wederes of the worlde wakned theroute,
              Cloudes kesten kenly the colde to the erthe,
              With nye innogh of the northe the naked to tene;
              The snaw snitered full snart, that snaiped the wilde;
              The werbelande wind wapped fro the highe
              And drof uch dale full of driftes full grete.

              • awhorl

                Ach Gawain!–and so I need no longer search for English to ease the heaviness of my heart at the snarty snaw that hath immured Ithaca. Snaw sniters full snart on me! oh help! And March is the cruelest month, for it will sniter even snartier!

                • kuku

                  I hope you escape the snaiping and wapping!

      • svartalf

        Depends on the form of effective immortality… Horcruxes don’t work that way, but DO confer that sort of thing all the same…

  • Skraeling

    Not the worst last words I’ve ever heard.

  • Tikatu

    Is that Beefeater a woman? Judging by the lips, I’d say yes.

    • She also seems to have her hair in a bun (in panel 3). :)

      • Nonesuch

        Alternate history and all that. ^^ It’s refreshing.

  • MoeLane

    What’s REALLY interesting here is that the title of Duke of Kent has almost always been reserved for members of the Royal Family.

    • Jeff Skinner

      Not in Elizabeth’s time. From 1465 to 1706, the earldom of Kent (as it was known) was held by the Grey family; the first earl of Kent, Edmund Grey, was the great-great-grandson of Edward III, and thus only a third cousin of Edward IV (who created the earldom for him). Not exactly Royal Family, I’d argue.

      Based on Lizzie’s apparent age here, I’m guessing this is the Widdershins counterpart to Reginald Grey, 5th Earl of Kent, who died childless – in his thirties, no less – in 1573. Ya gotta wonder…

  • reynard61

    “Let’s hurry and get this done! Chop-Chop!”

    I guess he thinks that he’s a cut above the rest…

    • Me-me

      That joke was edgy.

      • AJ

        [obligatory groan]

        • Nimm

          [more-obligatory high-fives all around]

      • it was a two bit try, if you axe me.

        • Don’t be such a a pain in the neck

          Any other cutting remarks?

          • szbnahl

            These puns are excellently executed.

    • Seller of Rotten Fruit

      That’ll teach him to try and get ahead in life.

      • reynard61

        I think his problem is not so much getting ahead as *keeping* it…

    • Nonesuch

      I shall forgive you the second pun because the first one was so lovely. :p

    • Johannes Hjortshøj

      I must say you have a sharp tongue on you.

      • reynard61

        It goes well with my dagger intellect and rapier wit. (Though I’m told that my butterknife modesty needs some work…)

        • kuku

          Butterknives would be good for flattery. For modesty… napkins, maybe?

  • Columbine

    Queenie is not impressed.

  • Nin

    My, that is a dashing rouge. I’m guessing that he tried to use some sort of enchantment to make her fall in love or simply become hopelessly infatuated with him? I’m surprised he thought he needed it. . . or maybe not, considering his target. She looks quite imposing–and nobody has suggested she’s a Barber ancestor yet!

    • SoItBegins

      A rouge rogue?

      • Nin

        . . .On an unrelated note, is there a spell-check option if you join Disqus?

        • SoItBegins

          Your browser should provide such functionality natively. If it doesn’t, switch to Firefox! ;D

        • Sanjay Merchant

          But since “rouge” is a real word, it wouldn’t have helped.

    • awhorl

      If there’s a Barber on this page, I’m betting on the Beefeater. Maybe just because of the attitude/

  • Deepbluediver

    The Queen of France, obviously.

  • Nonesuch

    As last words go, that’s one of the better ones. ^^ It’s up there with “My only regret is never killing someone like you”, “No, I’m not taking your offer. Now if you don’t mind, I was supposed to be in Hell already”, and the ever-popular “I commend my soul to any god who can find it”.

    • “Die, my dear doctor? That is the last thing I shall do.” Lord Palmerstone.

  • Nonesuch

    Alrighty, who wants to bet that the Duke of Kent had dealings with Lust, which was meant to help him control the Queen?

    And which deal possibly included a clause that will entitle the Duke to Lust’s help to keep his spirit in the mortal realm and enable it to influence the living… *shudders*

  • KING: You have your choice of execution methods – you may choose to be beheaded or to be burnt at the stake.

    CURLY HOWARD: Boint at the stake, of course.

    MOE HOWARD: What? Why?

    CH: Hot stake is better than cold chop any day.

  • Alasni

    Well that’s never a good sign, too nonchalant about getting beheaded, better burn the body just to be sure.

  • Azmi

    Female announcer? …GRANDMOTHER!

    • Sanjay Merchant

      I think she’s too old to be Harry’s grandmother, if we’re looking at Queen Elizabeth I instead of Princess Victoria. Plus, I think we already saw grandma Barber on the cover page.

      • Gardan Blue

        Oh? I thought that was Harry and Sid under the effects of some sort of gender swap magic.

        • Sanjay Merchant

          I believe the author stepped in and shot down that theory. Besides, since when have you known Sid to recoil daintily from something interesting, regardless of how lethal it might be?

  • Rulebook Lawyer

    By the way, I did not represent this person. I wasn’t there… it wasn’t my fault…

  • metzger

    smug bastard, hope he’s dead for sure

  • … Jesus?

  • RazorD9

    Either the Duke has something up his sleeve where death is only the beginning, or towards the end he lost his head.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Alright, time to start wildly guessing: the (former) Duke of Kent was possesed. The snarky remark comes from the possessing wizard/spirit/entity, who will just go on and take over some other poor sap now that the former Duke is… indisposed.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    I can’t help but notice the Queen’s raised eyebrow in the last panel. Seems a very regal way of saying, “Well, THAT’S never happened before.”

    Or it’s just an ordinary gore-discretion shot and I’m overanalyzing.

  • axioanarchist

    Who’s queen? I didn’t vote for her!

  • Bill Soo

    I love all the Blackadder references. As a Canadian, it’s not part of our culture the way it seems to be for you Brits, but I wish it were. I hate having to explain lines I quote….

  • ~OrangeMellow~

    ahhhh *scary*

  • Stephen

    “Places to be? And just where are you planning to head off to? You have nobody left to turn to. Not a leg to stand on.” At any rate the guy finds the whole affair to be a bit heady.

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