Does that mean that Sphinxes have no moral compass?
Exactly. They sometimes kill anyone they com pass.
No, they do. The only difference between a human moral compass and that of a sphinx is that where humans have “Evil and/or Ought to be fought/destroyed,” a sphinx has “Bad at riddles.”
i’d say it’s more like no tact… they seem to have an extremely over-developed (possibly even PROGRAMMED) sense of LAW and ORDER… but whether that is right or wrong is irrelevant: it is the LAW… And therefore they OBEY it… and anyone who doesn’t gets eliminated (ie Demon infested humans)
sounds like the paladin in goblins webcomic… he kills everyone for everyone has sinned…. or 😀 Santa Claus in futurama ho ho ho
Kore is an…. unusual situation to say the least.
He’s committed acts that would’ve made even a Blackguard sick to their stomach, yet he still hasn’t lost his status as a paladin for some reason.
Not quite sure that he’s an appropriate comparison model for this discussion.
They remind me of C.S.Lewis’s angels: a very strong sense of goodness and rigid law, so much that they become inhuman.
They killed humans to get to the demons they were hunting. Leaving the ‘uninfected ones’ alone. Sounds to me they were being pretty damn benevolent all things considered.
They are not human- projecting human rules and morality onto them may ‘work’ up to a point but they are human and have no concept of humanity because they are not human.
They have a moral compass, in that if it breaks no laws it is ‘right’ if it breaks laws and you are caught then it is ‘wrong’- understand both of these are human concepts that they are not bound to understand or follow.
Phinx openly objected to killing humans, putting her as low man on the totem pole with the crap jobs till she got the library- now she’s arguably the highest ranking Sphinx second to possibly Shelly, whom is her student.
Or is it that a sphinx moral compass draws circles around human values?
[drops a protractor, ruler and compass into the pun jar]
On the other hand, humans wielding invincible power is neither reassuring nor recommended.
And Shelly has had other thoughts and advice on this.
Yeah…my issue with that is no one had the thought that maybe the reason why the guardians turned was because the people they were guarding became corrupt.
You protect some one that is all well and good but if the person you are protecting becomes a murdering tyrant no adhering to law or rules and uses your protection to kill and destroy then what?
So, unlike a paladin who takes a rigid stand of good vs evil (as an example), shelly not only has to take into considerations their alignment, she could also take into account the person’s personality and their situation?
Sounds rather like your typical sphinx wouldn’t care one whit about going on a human-killing rampage.
Which fits some mythologies, to be sure…
How come when Shelly sphinxed out 2 days ago, her clothes the next day were not torn to shreds and not even on her anymore? Did anyone else notice this- join me in the confusion corner.
If I had to guess, I’d say she brought one or more changes of clothing for just such an eventuality.
One would hope that someone who earned the title “Sage” of anything would be smart enough to expect that she might not be so good at the sphinx training…and therefore that she might destroy a few items of clothing. 🙂
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Scar aren’t the only people who know to “be prepared.” 😀
You only say that because you haven’t met the Parsley and Rosemary of the Forest…
Likely the clothes she was wearing were destroyed – these are different clothes; the top she was wearing had a deeper, scalloped neckline and scalloped sleeves, this one doesn’t.
Probably a good bet that she has a nice collection of cheap shirts and shorts for the training.
And that’s why women need such large handbags
You are apparently unaware of the Purple Pant Paradox, which originated with Bruce Banner (but can apply to other people and their clothes) about how a pair of purple pants can fit Bruce then the Hulk when Banner transforms and then Bruce again.
Have you seen The Avengers?
the purple pants are made by the comics code. Same as She-hulk’s underwear.
First Panel of yesterdays comic was her putting on a new shirt.
Pulling on a shirt, yes. Pulling on a new shirt, I didn’t assume. Remember, magic is involved; that may involve a minor “poit”ing of inconvenient garments. I certainly wouldn’t want to enlarge that quickly and count on the fabric giving way before it damages me, so there’s presumably _some_ safeguard built into the system. Either that, or sphinxes are even tougher than they look, or there’s a reflex which causes them to claw the fabric out of the way.
Thought: Never put a sphinx in armor.
I do like the fact that Phyx is teaching this lesson at her “natural” size. Makes all kinds of sense, since she’s on her home turf and since she doesn’t have to worry about whether it might intimidate another sphinx.
Phyx’s clothes do seem to transform appropriately for her shape and size. That’s a trick worth learning!
Though I’m not sure whether a clothed sphinx or a naked sphinx is more distracting.
It’s completely different clothes – look back.
I;m sure a being as old and wise as a sphinx has manged to develop hard wearing clothes with the same magic as they have…
seen the Fantastic four?? a special material was made, with extensive abilities to mimic the ‘shape/action’ of the user…
and then the situation of the clothes depends on ‘plot logic’, ‘dont scare the kids’, ‘looks good’, or even just ‘arggh, hands feel bad’… 🙂
What’s-her-name in The Incredibles did the same for them–and NO CAPES!
Edna Mode, voiced by Brad Bird.
Damn I love Phix! LOL!!!
Okay, the painting watching Shelley is just disturbing.
Now that you’ve pointed it out and I’ve watched IT over a couple days…. Yes. Yes it is disturbing.
It was there the first time we saw the Wall of Skulls, way back when, as i recall.
And this means something, considering the painting is hanging on A WALL OF SKULLS. O.O
Maybe it’s on loan from Hogwarts via the Pun Jar?
its just a standard mime / modern dance mask…
There’s not one painting changing shape, but rather several paintings being shown in dramatic ways by Pablo’s choice of ‘camera’ angle. We got a wide view of the Wall of Skulls when it first appeared.
Phix’s last line is EXACTLY what I was thinking ever since yesterday’s comic.
Damn, I like Phix too. That is my most favorite Wapsi character that Paul still draws into the strip – she is in the top third. Shelix on the other hand, well I will stop there.
Sounds a bit like we are setting up a bit of a Mr. Spock half-human tug-of-war. Never really bought into that sort of back-story as it sets up a jack-in-the-box style character justification sort of thing. “Oh, sorry that was my X side.” where X is whatever. It makes their actions into either a reflex (automatic and therefor a cheetah and spots affair) or into a reaction to themselves and not really the issue of the moment (I can’t believe I did X).
In either case they are reacting to a conflict that is constant, fixed and internal and not really due to external plot points. So, it ends up not really mattering what situation they are in – their rudimentary make-up will always cause the conflict.
In other words it boils down into a “let us poke ’em with a stick and see what happens” sort of thing. Where Phix feels like there is some motive and plan, Shelix simply has response. Action without reason is a bit turn-off for me.
That is what I have discovered is my problem with the Shelix character now. Before she was on a course of self discover sort of thing with vision quests and where is my place in the world manner of arcs. Now it reads more like I may not be able to control myself. (I can’t help but think of adult diaper commercials now with her)
She has moved from a sense of purpose / discovery to one of self reproach / trepidation.
I understand that Shelix is a favorite of many, which is fine. I on the other hand don’t really need her to change just not fear herself so much. So I will wait till she can go out without her “diaper”.
lol…. i disagree… i think it just puts into sharp contrast what we ourselves have to do…. keep ourselves in check when we’d much rather rip someones throat out.
I agree with you.
Shelly is having to come to grips with something any well trained soldier knows – that humans are terribly fragile things and most training is geared to keeping body and soul from going their separate ways, both one’s own and those of the innocents.
Right. Shelly’s visionquest never really ended; in a way, she kept heading deeper into the wilderness until all she had was her mightiest form and the time to gather hermetic knowledge and wisdom. But her social skills are still dependent on a twentysomething’s experience.
Though to be fair to Nimrod, late 20th Century SF worked that “dual nature” thing to death. A lot of that was exploring gender roles, including Spock: his unemotional “half” was originally the character trait of Capt. Pike’s female first officer in the pilot. Also notable is Ripley in Alien (written as a male role), and so on through the range of gender exploration in heroes that was nigh impossible in fiction before that, where “deviance” was a sure sign of villainy.
One element that has come from this exploration is the idea that dichotomies are inadequate, however attractive they are. “Either/or” explanations tend to exclude ideas (and people), while “both/and” explanations tend to be more inclusive and lead to resolutions.
Don’t forget Spock defeated Sybok’s attempt to Cohen him because Spock was no longer the conflicted “half-human”. He was cool with his whole self, and couldn’t be made to doubt himself again.
While she hasn’t put it in those specific terms, that seems to be what Phix is telling Shelly. Nothing is wrong with Shelly being who she is. Learning to play well with others has been her arc to bear. That hasn’t changed, except she may finally be ready to engage with it.
See, iPads have an evil agenda.
Even worse: her social skills are not only of a 20-something, they are rusty with many millennia of disuse. And I agree about the two halves: all of us have to do similar integrations in our lives, even if most of us are not dealing with quite so disparate cultures. Or species.
I don’t feel like Shelly is being left in the “reaction only” state of character development though…so your dislike of her is (I feel) a little premature. She’s learning how to become more like Phix. Remember…Phix wasn’t always cool, calm, and collected. She shredded a certain book without a thought way back in the day (which is how she got stuck in the Librarian role).
Control takes training…no matter what you’re looking to control (sports, artistic abilities, singing, not turning into a man-killing she-beast…it’s all the same on some level 🙂 ). Shelly is attending sphinx lessons so she can master control. *shrugs* Seems admirable of her to recognize that she needs this IMO.
well… she IS the “Sage of the Forest”, you know… 😀
Oh, do not get me wrong – my dislike of her is not premature but rather based on the 10year+ reading of the character within the context of the strip. Day by day.
She has been a Sphinx for less than 1/10th of this character’s existence and yet we are asked to superimposed and supersede the previous Shelly aspect with this one in what I called a “massive rework” of the character. What I was reacting to was the dual aspect of this “powerful”,”sage of the forest” and otherwise significant physical empowerment poured into what was and continues to be a mostly messed up framework. It reads like the deliberate creation of a problem just to help set up “poke it with a stick” situations.
An analogy is like taking gasoline, already a potentially dangerous and combustible item by its own nature, and then pouring it into a Styrofoam cup.
I like Phix not because of her control but rather guilt and weakness that comes through at times. Shelix is just the opposite (now), almost entirely messed up with just bits of control. One would think she would get her act together after 80,000 years or whatever.
I really do not what or feel a bit of interest in seeing her grow or improve or find herself or whatever as it will be an exercise in applying a thin veneer over a very weak core. Once a Sphinx always a Sphinx.
Oh, and in strip time Shelly is pushing 30 by the way.
WOW!?! Shelly looks so small.
PHIX IS LARGER THAN I REMEMBER, FROM WHEN THEY FIRST MET.
Even though I know Phix can alter her size to her needs, this post shows she can be a ‘Big Friend’.
I get the impression from the very last panel that girlfren’ ain’t buyin’ it…..
Love the way scale is shown in panel 3..
At the center of “Justice” is accountability — that someone answer for the consequences of their actions, and the harm to others that results. But Justice is also in the eye of the beholder, in that the bystander may have one expectation and the victim another. That’s why we have laws, and hold them above ourselves: We desire objectivity in our justice.
Code law cannot do this, because there will eventually be some circumstance which the code writers did not contemplate. Also, there is the balance of innocence. Mens Rea, a guilty mind, has long been a standard of Western law, in that unless you have intent, you cannot be truly guilty. Likewise, the presumption of innocence. If we actually want the 100 guilty to go free lest one be falsely punished, we have to have a system that examines things very carefully. Lynch mobs are not Justice, social or otherwise, if we hold the law in respect.
So now Shelly as Shellinx has authority of the judge/executioner. But what are her responsibilities? What are her constraints? And in which fora do they apply?
Life is getting complicated…..
There’s also an interesting difference in styles of law codes that may apply here.
English law, deriving from the “common law” built up out of court case decisions, tends to try to anticipate all possible situations and legislate for them. Hence we get monstrosities like the income tax law: thousands of pages to spell out in detail every possible case.
Latin law, on the other hand, such as the Catholic Canon Law code, or the Napoleonic Code, tends to express the ideal, and then leaves much of then interpretation to the magistrate or judge to unpack, show how it applies to this case–or give a dispensation when it doesn’t apply as it should. So their law codes are much more compact, but the actual administration depends much more on the person in charge.
Speaking of ripped clothing, when Phix was introduced her short sleeve shirt was torn up at the cuffs.
She doesn’t have that problem now.
Cats play nice with they’re prey right before they kill it… right?
Like Mama cat teaches her kittens: “Don’t eat your food before you play with it.”
Love those hot pants!
I think the technical term is either “boy shorts” or “tap pants”, can’t tell which species from the drawing as material has a great deal to do with it and I don’t remember which is which right now.
Judging by the picture at Wikipedia, tap pants are rather looser.
She’s also Comanche, she likes to fight.
I have a request for someone who is a better researcher than I: When did Phix’s wall of skulls first appear? Thanks!
NEVER MIND!! FOUND IT!
For those who haven’t, it was here. It’s linked to from Phix’s wiki page.
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