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23rd May 2011, 12:00 AM
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Great minds think alike!
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Author Notes:
Magravan edit delete
Magravan
Okay, obviously some people are going to be disappointed with this... Mainly the people who were more okay with the idea of me killing off John... (You are heartless, by the way. I bet you incinerated the Companion Cube in record time as well, you monster!)

This is what has been foreshadowed, and even in my comments, I've tried to keep comments about Thomas about Thomas, and John about John. Some of you have picked up on it, and are wondering exactly how they are related... That question is not going to be answered today.

So, the whole thing about replacing the main character was a red herring, though it is very true. However, it was the planned story for the novel that I never managed to finish writing... The main character was meant have his character arc from the outset until near the end of the first book where a secondary character that was brought in around chapter 5-10ish took the forefront...

Buuut, I mentioned it solely to throw off the super analysts in the readership... Some of you are just waaaay too smart, and I wanted you to think it was the same guy for a little while longer...

Now that it has been implicitly revealed, some of the foreshadowing in the more recent strips were that it was called "An unfortunate introduction", because this is the first time that we actually met Thomas... His shirt colour was different (Some of you picked up on that), and his eyes were orange-y, but instead of a black pupil, they were white in the center... Because rather than Contacts, it was the sun reflecting in his eyes... I thought that one was particularly clever of June to think up :)

Anyway, sorry to those of you who called it brave and such to kill off the main character. I would still like to do it sometime, but I still need John as he is in order to tell the story that I've been telling for the moment :)
Skrael (I'm the artist) edit delete
Skrael (I'm the artist)
Nice to see his handsome face again! I have entirely too much fun painting cars in photoshop :D
User comments:
Linden edit delete reply
Linden
watwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwatwat
Syaoran edit delete reply
Syaoran
My brain just blew up, give me a while to clean up the mess. I was taking all the plot twists too simply, now I'm going to start over analyzing every strip now. LOL
Kristy edit delete reply
Kristy
... What just...who is...

...I don't...

*Brain shuts down*
Fortunado1972 (Guest) edit delete reply
YES! YES! YES! I was hoping for that! He will get eaten sometime in the future I'm sure; but, not right Now.....
Sarge edit delete reply
Sarge
wait.
Wait what?
Thomas got eaten?
But John...
but Thomas.
But... What?
Hurgurgadur *brain implodes*
bbedlam edit delete reply
bbedlam
You .. BASTARD! How dare you toy with us that way! ARGH... why didn't I see it coming?
Mr. Capps edit delete reply
Mr. Capps
Huh.

I can't say much else right now.
alparrott edit delete reply
alparrott
YESSSSS!!! My dreams of John/Beth 'shipping are NOT dead!!! Booyah!
Metsfan edit delete reply
Metsfan
Everything is so strange now. What am i supposed to do with all these John Zombie coffee mugs I ordered :(
D_Man edit delete reply
I may have re-read this whole comic now just to sort out who John is and who Thomas is.
Guest (Guest) edit delete reply
Aw man! I have to think all of this out
Okay so there are two dudes...
God I'm so confused, we're gonna need a couple flashback panels

DerrickMichael5 edit delete reply
DerrickMichael5
^
Aw man! I have to think all of this out
Okay so there are two dudes...
God I'm so confused, we're gonna need a couple flashback panels

That was me, sorry
Bandkanon edit delete reply
Bandkanon
Argh I KNEW page 148 was somehow in some way... not him >:I
It... wasn't the eyes though

It's just-- last I saw him he was in a car wearing his ...light blue? tan shirt? ... Then he's suddenly NOT in the car and keeping a dark gray shirt on his belt D:
I thought it was a continuity error or something :I THIS PAGE HAS MADE MY DAY.
MatthewJA edit delete reply
MatthewJA
HE'S ALIVE
YYYAAAAAAY
JessieJess edit delete reply
JessieJess
WHUU?!
I thought--!
B--B-B-But--!?!!?

HUUUH?!?!
Sooty (Guest) edit delete reply
M Night Shamalan eat ur heart out lol
Guest (Guest) edit delete reply
you're really got at plot twistes x'D
snoog (Guest) edit delete reply
I knew it.
I said it as soon as the pulled up a few strips back.
Jamming edit delete reply
Jamming
Dude-tte and Dude,
Great Twist and I need to pay closer attention. I was really bummed when You killed John and I am now ashamed of that. Thanks for entertaining me.
Barrahir (Guest) edit delete reply
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
Jrade edit delete reply
Jrade
TOGM 2: Attack of the Clones!


Also, I incinerated that cube before GLaDOS could finish her sentence.
MuchachoNL (Guest) edit delete reply
Sooo, basically the amnesia-suffering John is NOT Thomas??

Damn... I've been thinking this whole strip that John was actually Thomas: the saviour of the human race... just... damn!
Frosty edit delete reply
Frosty
I...I heard this was coming and I'm still confused ._.
Joobaloob56 (Guest) edit delete reply
John's glare peers directly into your soul...
Krimson (Guest) edit delete reply
twins TWINS is it twins? twwwwwwiiiiins?
this also begs the question wtf is Johns real name o.o
Spinnerlink edit delete reply
Spinnerlink
so thomas died. John is still alive. posibly tiwns, or else john is a falty clone that does not have thomas's memory.
Lee V. edit delete reply
Lee V.
This just made my Monday 100% better. :)
greengirl77 (Guest) edit delete reply
well Thomas-one eat your ...TOGM...lol
woot down to the dirty! I love this story!
LordBug (Guest) edit delete reply
Love it. The story is continuing to be great quality.
I almost wish I had the strength of will to avoid reading for a few months so I could indulge myself on a set of strips in a row...
But that'd be too painful! :D
TanSpectra (Guest) edit delete reply
Hey dont give up on the John Thomas thing, dont forget they seem to have the same dna, hehheh twins, clones????
rasufelle (Guest) edit delete reply
Oh, goodie!

I had kept reading after the "John is dead" misleading, but I wasn't enjoying it as much, thinking he would be gone.

I was hoping for some kind of way to at least recover his intelligence, maybe through some Super-TOGM or something like that -- but this, this is better.
the_brigand (Guest) edit delete reply
sooo...Thomas had orange eyes too? what a coincidence.
Ghost286 edit delete reply
Ghost286
Now only the mystery of what the heck John is in relationship to Thomas officially remains!

And well not played Portal but in ME2 the hostage situation I typically solve it by just shooting the hostage soooo yeah get my mind set >_>
Skrael (I'm the artist)
@Brigand as Mag's author's note says, Thomas's eyes were actually just reflecting the sun. They were in fact not orange contacts.
snoog (Guest) edit delete reply
So who thinks the phanton will now use john? Sigh its no fun. Make it harder to work out eh skreal
Guest (Guest) edit delete reply
John! <3 :D

Now I'm trying to parse what Thomas was monologuing to himself about on his way to the Phantom's shelter. I don't imagine it would have been related to R.Z./Sylene/Beth. Coincidence with common keywords?

P.S. Epic car drawing!
Espeh edit delete reply
Espeh
WHAAAAT?
jordanch68 edit delete reply
jordanch68
Now, I've finally discovered the reason for Ardbeg, Laphoraig, etc..*gulp* :)
Xenrin edit delete reply
Xenrin
What! Double Twist?

Killing off the main character is one thing... but you better have a damn good, non-'deus ex machina' reason for bringing him back. :P

I bet it was Karl, wasn't it. Karl cloned John and threw his clone into the desert as a decoy.

He would; that heartless monster...
Skrael (not logged in yo) (Guest) edit delete reply
Where is the Magraspam? O.O
Ghost286 (Guest) edit delete reply
Why am I feeling like a minority for seeing what I felt was fairly obvious ages ago (I'll admit I was fooled by the post you did at the time :), but that is probably partly due to me been influenced by other fiction which aren't afraid to kill off characters) but it was very very well done.

That said it wasn't until today I finally figured out 100% reason the eyes bugged me. Got the contacts/lack of but was couldn't nail the final point why it bugged me, in hindsight now looking again its obvious but that's the thing about hindsight its always 20/20.
Ghost286 edit delete reply
Ghost286
gahh stupid comp not getting me online properly, but isn't RZ still chipped so his movements etc. can be tracked and with Beth been his guardian and now been watched by Rob cause him to possibly wonder what the heck RZ is doing in the wasteland....
TheCanadian1983 (Guest) edit delete reply
(in 10th Doctors Voice) What!
Mike (Guest) edit delete reply
... Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
LeoFire (Guest) edit delete reply
"I think that John is the clone, and the one who was killed was the "real" Thomas. John is a clone, and taken by the two's sent to rescue Thomas. Thomas still escapes, but the two he talks about are the ones sent to rescue him, not RZ"
I said this like a week ago and now want to point out, BOooYAAA! Told you John wasnt dead
model S (Guest) edit delete reply
i only sort of got it. this makes me sad. i picked up on the diffrences, but sadly never connected it.
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Linden - I don't even know...

@Syaoran - That was the best part, I think.. We managed to sneak a bunch of things under the radar because no one was paying attention :)

@Kristy - All part of the plan :D

@Fortunado1972 - There's certainly a possibility, but unlike Thomas, John has some survival instincts going for him ;) I'm glad you were happy with this turn of events thuogh :)

@Sarge - This one is supposed to make it clear! You're not allowed to be confused anymore.

@bbedlam - Are... are you okay? I'm pretty sure that your tongue must have burst through your cheek on that one...

@Mr. Capps - Huh is okay :)

@alparrott - But will she want him now that she has a John-like Zombie to play with? :P

@Metsfan - Hold onto them, they might be worth something someday :P

@D_Man - That's what I'm hoping... That when you get to this point, that you're like .. Wait.. what? I want to see if that makes sense... and then it has some re-readability value :)

@Guest who is secretly DerrickMichael5 - Uhm... Probably wont be doing flashback panels :D Too much story to do, not enough time to spend here... Moving on, moving on!

@Bandkanon - That's the ideal, really. If you have a sneaking suspicion that something is up, but it doesn't kick in until later... I guess ideally it wouldn't be seen as a continuity error though :)

@MatthewJA - I'm happy that you're happy :)

@JessieJess - It's a Mirage. R.Z. is seeing things to mask her super powers.

@Sooty - http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=59972 I am but a student...

@Guest - Well, I hope you enjoyed them, because we're fresh out. Everything is straight forward and simple from now on.

@snoog - Well that's when I figured that people would know, but I guess there were many ways that things could have gone :)

@Jamming - We accept your apology and still think you're awesome ;D

@Barrahir - You're not happy? You hate John, don't you?

@Jrade - Hahaha... I waited sooo long... I'm such a sucker for manufactured emotions for pretend objects...

@MuchachoNL - Well sadly, Thomas isn't even the saviour of the human race, apparently. Oops.

@Ice the frosty cat - John and Thomas are different people. And suddenly everything makes sense!

@Joobaloob56 - And he doesn't like what he sees?

@Krimson - Those are both good questions :)

(To be continued!)
Brain eater (Guest) edit delete reply
Huh?
What?!?
WHAT'S GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*brain explodes, turned into zombie, starts the apocalypse*
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
I didn't realize how many comments there were... You guys are awesome :D

@Spinnerlink - I guess we'll see :) No rush on that one though...

@Lee V. - That's great, glad to hear it :)

@greengirl77 - Yes indeed.. Thomas'll be dining on the new TOGM diet... Unfortunately, he wont care enough that he's getting standard TOGM all the time :)

@LordBug - Well, if you were going to take a break, this is probably the ideal point, since (despite the fact that I am doing it wrong because I seem to be doing reveal after reveal) we are just getting started on the next portion of the story :)

@TanSpectra - There's definitely something to that...

@rasufelle - Well I'm glad that you stuck around :) I probably would have drawn it out longer if not for the reaction, but I got almost a month worth of people being unsure, so that worked out okay...

@the_brigand - I can always tell who doesn't read the author's note clearly :D It was the reflection of the sun in his eyes ;D

@Ghost286 - I forget about the hostage situation... I might do it that way this time, because I'm doing my "Absolute Renegade" playthrough... I have to admit, I don't enjoy it nearly as much... My first playthrough is always as Paragon because I don't enjoy being a jerk to people most of the time ;)

@snoog - Will now use John? Or now use Thomas? Because the former .. well, let's just say I don't know about that one, and the latter was ... pretty much exactly what he said he was going to do :P

@Guest - Yes, coincidence with common keywords... The fact that he was insulting towards the Two was meant to make you think that he was angry with R.Z., and I referenced his car breaking down to add to it...

Though I think that it is a legitimate rant, all considered :D

@Espeh - Hearing aid fell out again? ;) (Yeah, I'm running out of things to say... Stop being surprised people!)

@jordanch68 - And as soon as I google those, I'll know what you're talking about :D

@MarshmallowGherkin - Yes, we have Karl Ex Machina :D Honestly, it was foreshadowed and is easily explained... It's about as not Deus Ex Machina as we're going to get in this story ;D

@Skrael - Bet you're regretting asking now, eh?

@Ghost286 - Yeah, it's easy to spot when you know the trick... :D If someone decides to wonder what R.Z.'s up to, it could certainly introduce complications for John... :)

@TheCanadian1983 - Exterminate!

@Mike - If it were, it would turn out that the zombies were all actually humans who happened to like food shaped like brains and actually fatally allergic to real brains...
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Brain Eater - And Robert's origin story becomes clear :D
T.Gatto edit delete reply
T.Gatto
Please do not respond to this comment.
T.Gatto edit delete reply
T.Gatto
Please do not respond to this comment either.

Thank You!
Ghost286 edit delete reply
Ghost286
Well thats what I love about the ME series you can act like a git at times, whilst not been a genocidal maniac at other times, aka I'm fairly renegade for 1 and 2 but come the end of 2 when you had the final choice I went with option A of blowing it all to hell. My character maybe (okay no maybe about it) a git but you draw the line at some point ^^.
Krimson (Guest) edit delete reply
@Magravan I love you for answering like that tbh in my head it was a yes and a ILL TELL YOU LATER GAWD LEAVE ME ALONE *slap* damn you!!

<_< anyhoo
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Ghost286 - Yeah, I tend to do pretty much exclusively good the first time, what I call my "True Playthrough", which is basically how I would be as myself... Which tends to align pretty well with the Paragon path... And then the second time I want to see what I missed out on, so it tends to go the other way...

That being said, in Infamous, I let the doctors die instead of the love interest ;)

@Krimson - To be honest, I'm trying not to answer any of the theories lately because I'm afraid I give away too much and ruin the story... I like a lot of the theories and questions that people have, but sometimes for different reasons...

Sometimes I'm glad because they show that people are getting into the world and trying to wrap their brain around it.. sometimes I'm glad because it shows that my own thoughts on how things are progressing aren't so out there that no one is guessing anywhere near the truth... and sometimes I like it because it's so crazy that I almost wish I was writing a really goofy strip so that I could follow that path :D
MatthewJA edit delete reply
MatthewJA
Wait, wait.



So Thomas AND John are humans?


...were humans?

John isn't spechial.
DreamSanguine edit delete reply
DreamSanguine
Kristy just about summed up everything I wanted to say in her first comment. D:
Nash (Guest) edit delete reply
I wonder how Sylene'll react to this development. Will she live up to her word and try to protect John, or will the prospect of fourhood just be too tasty? Time will tell, I suppose.
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@MatthewJA - Well, Thomas is no longer a human, so there's that ;)

@DreamSanguine - *adds another tick to the brain explode-y category*

@Nash - Ha, she's a long way from Fourhood :)
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
Ok... for the first few minutes i was confused and my head hurt. Now its clearer, first things first...
YOU ARE A DEVIOUS BASTARD!
That said bravo, i've recently been reading the Artemis Fowl novels, and I'm an Australian, so take devious bastard as a compliment.
Addmitably, i'm sligly pissed that you played such a devious trick, i odnt like being lied to (and you always write comments outside the comic, so i tend to take it as truth), but thats my problem, besides, I think if I bothered going back through the comments, i'd find that you never lied, and only said things vague enough to be the truth, yet played on the fact that the readership mistook Thomas for John (which i gather are two different characters from what you said, if I'm still wrong, go back to top). Should have been obvious, I always wondered why he was wandering out in the desert shirtless.
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
Part 2.
And for the record, even though I did kill the companion cube pretty quickly (i'm a realist, i needed to get out of there), I was not happy when i had thought that 'John' had died, though i accepted the fact that not all stories have happy endings and stayed with the comic for the story and to see what happened next, and I am glad i stayed.
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
Part 3
Summing up, you're a devious bastard, yet still a great writer, i will continue reading this comic as long as it is going, (cause it is awesome) I am slightly pissed at you only for the deception, but will forgive you this once because it was a good one ( though trick me again and i will...will... ok, i got nothing... except maybe karma, yeah, trick me again and karma will get you!)
On the whole, glad Johns ok, I think the rest of the cast still have that mistaken identity thing too, well, beth and sylene anyway, hope they're confused.
If you make it this far through the rant, you've done well, we're even, ;-) excellent comic so far, keep up the good work, cant wait to see what happens next.
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
OK, if you dont reply to this, i'm gunna be dissapointed and put it on the next one... should have read this on monday like every1 else, but i forgot and was busy.
Kyo edit delete reply
Kyo
magtit is pretty good at responding to comments regardless of the time they were left at
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
@Thisguy - :D

Part 1 - If you go back and look, it is all truth, albeit Aes Sedai truth ;) I was intentionally misleading people because I assumed that some of the more analytical people would jump in and ruin the surprise for everyone... So while I threw out hints, I also threw out a lot of red herrings, and added the comment about replacing the main character for good measure...

A good portion of Book 2 was dedicated to trying to make the readers think that Thomas and John were the same person, which is why Phantom kept correcting Sylene, and John questioned it himself... I hope that it works for people who might read it without the author's note to fool them ;)

Part 2 - I was hoping for some way to bring it out alive... I tried to find some way to continue on, like maybe there was a trick to get around the door without doing it. Granted, I also started a fresh Final Fantasy 7 game when I read a (fake) thing on the internet that suggested that if you did something at the beginning of the game you could get ressurrect Aerith (Aeris?) ... I'd like to say that I'm pragmatic, but I try to do what I can in order to make sure that no one gets left behind, whether fairly useless Ancient or Heart decaled cube ;)

Part 3 - I have to admit that I don't have any plans to do another trick like this any time soon, but that's sort of a trick unto itself... Everyone'll be watching for another huge twist, and I'll just be playing it straight :D

I'm really looking forward to the character development of Beth and Sylene as they deal with the reprecussions of believing he is dead :D

And thanks for keeping with us, it means a lot :D

@Kyo - Unless they are posted in past strips.. I've missed some just because they were posted on an older strip and I had no idea ;)
MrChesney edit delete reply
MrChesney
reponded to mine
Magravan edit delete reply
Magravan
Is that avatar from Bill? :) Or something like that?
Peter Palmiotti edit delete reply
Peter Palmiotti
Crazy....crazy!
Beta Maxis (Guest) edit delete reply
Wait, a relative? A clone? You saucy-minx!
Beta Maxis (Guest) edit delete reply
Also, which ONE is the original, and which is the clone/relative/hoo-hah? Always a nice twist to have the main character/protagonist not be the original.