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  • Aaahahaha, yes, Ben freaking out over Spirits is awesome. Also what on earth is up with that dog. I do not think a burglar would want to mess with that puppy.

    Also can I just say that I totally read the surfer-banged snake as talking like a California surfer. “WHAAAAAAAAAAT”

    • “I am a ravening wolf! Grr! Woof! Woof!”

    • SteelSaurus

      I had that exact same thought in regards to both the dog AND the snake. Everyone knows that little yippy dogs are the most ferocious.

  • Frances Ahlborn

    Jeez Ben, don’t be such a noob, you’d think you’ve never seen a spirit before!

    Oh wait.

  • Istas

    Mal’s not taking this very well either, he’s just not verbal about it. Nice touch with his hand shaking.

    • Euodiachloris

      At least he can hold it together. Mind you, he’s used to seeing weird crap. It’s just… this is the stuff most people see, this time: it’s just weird for him. xD

  • ThisCat

    I think I’d freak out too if my entire world suddenly turned inside-out.

  • Tikatu

    Interesting that the spirits know Ben can see and hear them but they realize that he’s “not the O’Malley”. I guess they see something more in Jack that Ben, for all his new powers, doesn’t have. Goes right along with that cryptic remark Envy made.

    • Frances Ahlborn

      Could be the O’Malley bloodline is significant to spirits, the same way the Barber bloodline is significant to spirits.

      Also I just realized this page put the kibosh on my theory that Jack can still hear them but not see them, since it looks like Ben can hear them, so seeing and hearing are both aspects of what Voss was trying to steal (not that HE knew what he was taking).

      • Tikatu

        Actually, I have a theory right now about how the spirits know Ben’s not the O’Malley. He has a wizard’s aura about him, one that Jack–and presumably the spirits–can see. The spirits know that either Jack doesn’t have one or his own spirit–which they’d be able to see–marks him as “the O’Malley”. Envy said Jack’s the one that “stands between”; presumably, this is between the real world and the spirit world.

    • Tsapki

      Speak only to the one true O’Malley, for thou shall have no false O’malley’s before him. Amen.

  • rainycity1

    “You are not the O’Malley.” oh how sad.

  • Sarah Hardister

    Still waiting to finally see Mal’s aura…*taps desk impatiently*

    • Silly Zealot

      “I don’t see you coming up with a better idea.”
      Yeeeeah, on that note, Ben, could you see O’Malley already?!

      • StarRose3

        Mal might not have an aura. After all, we see Ben’s aura when he is seeing spirits, but we never saw Mal’s.

  • r2d2go

    It’s okay, spirits, use the funny glasses man to communicate with the O’Malley!

    …This should be a thing.

  • LenaruHeart

    I love how Ben is loudly panicking and generally acting like a madman… while Mal struggles to light a cigarette and his hands are shaking. Aw man I can’t wait to see where this is going

    • Del

      Mal’s hands are shaking because he needs a cigarette and his matches were wet.

      He’ll be fine in a minute. Tobacco is good that way…. Ask the pipe-smoking heroine, if you don’t believe me.

      • Don’t be absurd, man. You inject heroine, not pipe-smoke it.

        • r2d2go

          Heroine, as in female hero, not heroin, as in the drug. Unless you knew that, and are being incredible punny XD

  • Something wrong, Ben? You look as if you’ve seen a gho—nah, too easy.

  • AJ

    You can almost hear Mal thinking, “Good grief, Wizard. You spend all your time berating me about these things. Show a little dignity.”

  • R. A. Meenan

    Mal is PROBABLY my favorite character now. XD Poor guy.

  • DaraX

    Now I’m curious as to how just how many random wandering spirits Mal has running around chatting at him at any given moment. Not only do things LOOK weird to him now, I bet the silence is deafening.

    • AJ

      I’m going to guess that they’ve only been doing it since he came to Widdershins. He was so surprised when that one talked to him back in his first plotline.

      • He mentioned that “they don’t like you for it” when he was introduced – assuming he was talking about the spirits, maybe he ran into a nastier spirit and avoided them until he discovered some could be friendly.
        We also know that people can discover they have magic while near an anchor like in Widdershins – maybe that leads to an excess of malforms and other spirits (and why O’Malley avoided Widdershins before).

  • Nin

    That puppy is obviously ready to defend his mistress from any suspicious characters she might meet. Like two alcohol-soaked madmen. Poor Ben, poor Mal. I can’t wait to see what happens when they walk into the pub and see Wolfe and Voss playing a duet. I’m kinda expecting to see Ben faint, resilient as he’s shown himself to be.

    Panel four: I wonder if Mal’s speaking from experience?

  • Doc

    The O’Malleys has always been a suspicious clan.

  • Deepbluediver

    Honestly, I don’t think that seeing people’s inner emotions would be such a big deal, but if it’s thrown the normally calm and collected Ben this much out of whack, maybe it’s worse than I thought.
    I guess I should have a little more sympathy towards Jack for being such an irritable grouch all the time.

    • Sessine

      “Normally calm and collected…”? You talking about Ben here? The nervous, high-strung perpetually-distressed Ben with the obsession for neatness? The Ben that Mal could always, always get a rise out of without hardly even trying?

      However this experience turns out, it’s going to be good for him. Mal has already been good for him — the Ben we first met would not have charged in to stop an unknown spell in the nick of time, he’d have dithered about, wringing his hands, until it was too late. I love Ben. I love watching him grow as he meets new challenges. He hates it, but hey. Nobody ever said being a major character in a good story was going to be easy.

  • Lighting a match on an open flame while soaked in alcohol? That O’Malley likes to live dangerously.

  • Dragon

    Pretty sure that lady’s spirit is also mine XD . Nervous nervous nervous.

  • Iituem

    I love the fact that the streetlamp isn’t gas lit, it’s a magic circle. Apparently the would-be Mayor’s industrial collapse had a bigger effect than realised.

    • ShakeJake

      Basically, the mages’ side of the argument won, and got their self lighting lamps that they had been pushing for. That was how she got all those lamp lighters to fight so desperately, as their jobs were at stake.

  • Sanjay Merchant

    Y’know, it just occurred to me that, being somewhat canophobic, Ben’s reaction to the dog is pretty much the same as mine without any supernatural sight. :-P

  • Been rereading the archives, and it occurred to me on this reading – Ben has never seen malforms before. We as the audience know, because we see them through O’Malley’s eyes, but they’ve just been an invisible threat to Ben. Like maybe he’s seen spirits before when they’re summoned, but it probably never occurred to him that they could just be ANYWHERE. Definitely not used to strange critters crawling up his legs asking “where is the O’Malley?” Who knows what he thought malforms looked like before this?

  • Sarah W

    “We’re gonna find Wolfe, he’ll know what to do.” He says, about the only one of the three that has no connection to spirits or magic whatsoever. And I think this is the kind of thing where *no one* will really know what to do – but even WHILE thinking that, I felt some comfort at the last line here, ’cause Wolfe is that kind of person.

    This chapter is really *his*, isn’t it?

  • KaReN

    Poor Ben. Now that he has Mal’s sight, he’s now color-blind with everything except the Mal-forms and auras.

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