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What will Ardent's answer reveal?

Exactly what he said, a friend hacked the transporter console and he woke up on Earth.
It was actually someone no one ever heard of that promised this and Alice was wrong about the Praeses.
The Praeses are playing dumb and Laridia is just there to convince them they had nothing to do with Ardent going to Earth.
There's actually a rogue element among the Praeses in cahoots with a mysterious 3rd party.
Nothing.  Spookybot will wake up suddenly and realize this was all just a nightmare.

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Author Topic: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?  (Read 22732 times)

retrosteve

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #600 on: 23 Jul 2017, 13:12 »

 
But Jeph hasn't given any indication he's going to turn any of those dangling threads into stories.  A pity.

But we can do it ourselves!

For example, if you want to know the origin story of Alice, Sedna and Church, I nominate the fertile mind of Emily Azuma:
http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3183
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Storel

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #601 on: 23 Jul 2017, 15:38 »

But suggesting, as some seem to be doing, that leaving so many questions unanswered is bad writing on Jeph's part... that seems pretty rude to me.

Why are we obliged to not say if we don't like something? That is incomprehensible to me.

Not what I said. Saying "I don't like something" is quite different from saying "this is bad writing". "I don't like something" makes it clear that this is my personal opinion. "This is bad writing" sounds objective, as if everybody could see and agree that it's bad, but it's really not; it's just "I don't like this, so it's bad writing."

Maybe Jeph always did intend to leave things unsaid (after all, what reason do I have to doubt him on this?) but to have major plot devices like the Nightwalker unexplained is just inexcusable. It just makes me think that he decided to do it because it 'looked cool' but didn't think about how to integrate it into the story. Maybe others (professional writers who write novels for a living or who work for TV and movies) have done that too. However, I wouldn't give them a pass for it either.

Fair enough.

Now, I don't want to start an argument but I would ask others to respect that this is not the sort of story I like; it isn't the sort of writing style I like.

All perfectly fine. That makes it clear that it is your personal, subjective opinion.

I feel that, if you have a discussion forum for a story, that necessarily includes allowing people to be critical if they can explain it reasonably.

Of course. I didn't complain about any of that, and I think it's perfectly reasonable to say "I didn't like this, and here's why."
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Method of Madness

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #602 on: 24 Jul 2017, 16:11 »

Was the ending rushed? Yeah, maybe. Was it disappointing? I think I was more disappointed that it did end than I was with the ending itself. Still a much better ending than Lost, though.

(Also, yep, renamed the thread)
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WareWolf

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #603 on: 24 Jul 2017, 17:53 »

Still a much better ending than Lost, though.



Well, yeah, if THAT's your standard...
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Method of Madness

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #604 on: 24 Jul 2017, 20:11 »

It's not, it was just depressing how much that show declined in the last three seasons.
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brasca

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #605 on: 25 Jul 2017, 19:55 »

Still a much better ending than Lost, though.



Well, yeah, if THAT's your standard...

Yes it is.  And for that matter I thought this ended better than Battlestar Galactica.  Yes there are probably some things that could've been explored more deeply, but Jeph Jacques had enough on his plate so at least we got a good ending instead of being left hanging or confused because the story went on for too long and the creator never really had an ending in mind. 

Personally I'd compare this to the 4th season of Babylon 5.  JM Straczynski didn't know if he'd get another season so he wrapped things up in such a way in the that season that if he didn't get a 5th at least fans would get some closure.         
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #606 on: 26 Jul 2017, 18:32 »

Oh god, Battlestar Galactica was a much bigger disappointment than Lost. That awful ending came as a surprise, since it was a damn good show until the last 45 minutes or so. It sort of gets better to me with my alternate interpretation, though.

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Emperor Norton

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #607 on: 26 Jul 2017, 18:55 »

...so at least we got a good ending instead of being left hanging or confused because the story went on for too long and the creator never really had an ending in mind.   

I completely disagree on it being good. What we got was just a giant exposition dump then "THE END". The characters really accomplished nothing, other than killing Church, but even that was kind of... well he was just a late game villain in the grand scheme of the story. He just shows up to be menacing and then die. Yes, they got to space, and got answers, but what difference did it make that they did? The same things will now happen regardless of what they did, especially as they learn Ardent and Gavia were not unique at all.

And let's look at the mysteries set up in the series. Other than the mystery of who Alice is, which ones had any actual hints to the answers before Ms. Exposition just told them the answers at the end. There are no hints that Ardent and Gavia's reality was a simulation before coming to Earth. There are no real hints at what happened to the AIs. Every answer we get is just dropped in the last few comics by someone telling us the answer. And until that, we were stuck with wild guesses because zero hints or foreshadowing were present.

The whole ending is just plant girl Praeses person going "And this is what happened" with a bit of assumptions from Alice, and then boom. End. And that could have been fine, if while reading it my brain went "OH YEAH, cause of x scene or y dialogue or z thing that happened earlier, that makes total sense." But it didn't. Because while nothing in the rest contradicts the ending, nothing in the rest really supports it much either.
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brasca

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #608 on: 26 Jul 2017, 23:41 »

How would it be any different if the pace remained at one strip or two per week at best?  There might be more plot filler that could be interesting, but the resolution would remain the same. 

And killing Church is actually significant.  The world will change, but not through any direction of Pate since he's dead and his pet monster is incapacitated if not dead too.  Church through Pate's direction would gather together all the people with abilities and mold them into something to dominate the world, solar system, and wherever else advanced technology could take humanity.  At best Alice might rally people to her side and achieve a stalemate, but it would be the past nightmare she wanted to avoid repeating itself again.  Perhaps the AI behind all this intended for one of the sets of space dwellers to get captured and lead Pate and Church into space where they could be neutralized, but didn't feel it necessary to appear and give an exposition of its scheme. 

And so what if Ardent and Gavia aren't unique.  In time everyone on Earth will have abilities like theirs.  In the meantime they can be pioneers and they actually have Sedna as a friend so that does make them different than the others who were seeded on Earth before them.  As for not having any foreshadowing that Ardent and Gavia were from a simulated world it doesn't matter because it makes sense.  How else could so many people live in space with very few resources to draw from other than recycling what already exists?  Or why the rest of the solar system hasn't been colonized because even if Earth is off limits they could've terraformed Mars and Venus by now.  It seems the Praeses are content to just keep the minds of the humans they got custody of housed in simulations.  The only reason we thought the Praeses were up to something was Alice's paranoid suspicion.  This in itself is not unusual considering her past and the thousands of years she's lived since then.  It's a wonder anyone could be sane after all that time.   

I'll admit this last chapter was like reading an abridged version, but the story still holds up so the only thing I mind is not getting more side adventures and filler, but I understand that Jeph Jacques has other obligations and couldn't turn this story into a multi volume epic. 
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BenRG

Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #609 on: 27 Jul 2017, 00:00 »

If Jeph had kept to the slow pace, Jeph would likely have had time to say to himself: "You know, this needs to be expanded upon" and "How can I best put this across in something other than exposition?"

The rush makes the ending less palatable.
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Emperor Norton

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #610 on: 27 Jul 2017, 06:43 »

The reason it matters that Ardent and Gavia are not unique is that it makes their journey and their purpose matter even less. What difference did everything they do make when nothing they did had any strong impact that wasn't already being done by all the other people sent to Earth weren't already doing?

And in regards to Church, remember there are multiple people of Gavia's strength on the planet that just got sent there from the Praeses, plus super tech about to become the norm. The fact that Church could die from a single bone through the neck when surprised, I don't think he could fight all of that at once.

(Plus there is the whole issue that Church and Pate are basically introduced with 1/4th of the pages left, they never really had room to breathe as villains before being killed).

Nothing in the comic they did really mattered, and nothing they did other than get to space actually gave them any answers. They didn't learn anything other than what they were told and what Alice then inferred from her knowledge (which we never get much of during the comic itself), to give us more exposition. And once they have the answers, there is nothing really ACTIONABLE to do with those answers. They just, oh, ok. Now we know. (And knowledge is half the battle!)

And the reason that it matters that there are no hints is that you want to make the whole ending about their search for knowledge, but the only thing that matters for that search is the last 5 minutes when someone tells them the answers. There is no slow reveal of bits and pieces of information, everything is just dumped on you at once. I can't believe people are defending Deus Exposition as good writing.
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mil

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #611 on: 28 Jul 2017, 04:08 »

Another issue with Pate and Church's late appearance in the story is that their presence and actions don't actually influence the unfolding plot in any material way. If Pate and Church didn't exist:

> Alice still would've punched through the concrete roof of the bunker (presumably that was the 'plan' she referred to)
> They'd have still found the Valkryie at the bunker's base (Alice would've punched through the blast door easily)
> Ardent would've touched the Valkryie at some point (inevitable, really)
> They'd have gone to space (and docked with the giant tree instead of accidentally breaking in), met Laridia (or the Praeses) and had the same exposition chat minus all the violence
> The end.

Unfortunately, that's not good writing.

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JimC

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #612 on: 28 Jul 2017, 04:59 »

Unfortunately, that's not good writing.

Debatable. There is a school of thought that has rules about how everything you write has to be essential to the plot, but frankly I think that's *******s. The intention of a story is to entertain, and if going off on a tangent that's completely irrelevant to the main thread of the plot entertains then its just fine by me. That's what real life is like: all sorts of things come from nowhere and go nowhere.
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Thrudd

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #613 on: 28 Jul 2017, 12:33 »

All things said I would have preferred a "Krazy Larry" type ending but we have what we have unless we get a Speilberg sometime in the future.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #614 on: 28 Jul 2017, 18:29 »

Another issue with Pate and Church's late appearance in the story is that their presence and actions don't actually influence the unfolding plot in any material way.

I don't completely agree, though I'm not sure what you mean by 'material way', or whether the material..ity? material...ness? of their influence even matters.

Pate and Church introduce what is arguably the central conflict of the story - that of Alice's desire to maintain the status quo versus Pate's desire for humankind to advance. This conflict was resolved at the end when Pate was stopped and the immediatge threat halted, but it was revealed that (most likely) Alice had failed and human kind would advance regardless.

We could have an argument about how compelling that particular thread of the plot turned out, or how well it was told (it's a pity it was told at the end purely via exposition, but that's horse has been beaten to death). But that central plot thread would have been missing if not for Pate and Church.
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brasca

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #615 on: 30 Jul 2017, 23:33 »

The reason it matters that Ardent and Gavia are not unique is that it makes their journey and their purpose matter even less. What difference did everything they do make when nothing they did had any strong impact that wasn't already being done by all the other people sent to Earth weren't already doing?

Ardent and Gavia are the only ones to make it back to the space habitats.  None of the others encountered any old super soldiers that tried to get them back into orbit and now they know the truth.  Moreover, their journey ultimately involved Alice, Sedna, Church, and Pate.  The last 2 were effectively eliminated as guides for humanity while Alice felt so discouraged by everything that transpired that she decides to leave Earth.  That's your impact.  Unless Sedna decides to interfere humanity will find it's way out of the dark ages on its own.       

And in regards to Church, remember there are multiple people of Gavia's strength on the planet that just got sent there from the Praeses, plus super tech about to become the norm. The fact that Church could die from a single bone through the neck when surprised, I don't think he could fight all of that at once.

(Plus there is the whole issue that Church and Pate are basically introduced with 1/4th of the pages left, they never really had room to breathe as villains before being killed).

Alice defeated Gavia easily enough and claimed she could do the same if the Praeses invaded and it wasn't a boast.  The only way to keep Church at bay was to put Pate in check.  That could easily be done, but if Pate managed to persuade or compel one of the people who develops abilities to protect him against others with similiar abilities then Church could eliminate everyone else that doesn't fall in line.  Or possibly one of the other Gavias usurp Pate and take control of Church with the dream of world domination.  However, with Church neutralized this is no longer a possibility. 

Nothing in the comic they did really mattered, and nothing they did other than get to space actually gave them any answers. They didn't learn anything other than what they were told and what Alice then inferred from her knowledge (which we never get much of during the comic itself), to give us more exposition. And once they have the answers, there is nothing really ACTIONABLE to do with those answers. They just, oh, ok. Now we know. (And knowledge is half the battle!)

I liked the theme of the futility of power.  Pate with Church at his command was the most powerful man on Earth, but ultimately got in over his head and died trying to achieve a dream that would've been his for the taking if he had waited.  And for all of Alice's extraordinary power she was ultimately powerless to stop the world from changing. 

And the reason that it matters that there are no hints is that you want to make the whole ending about their search for knowledge, but the only thing that matters for that search is the last 5 minutes when someone tells them the answers. There is no slow reveal of bits and pieces of information, everything is just dumped on you at once. I can't believe people are defending Deus Exposition as good writing.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you cannot convince me otherwise.  I will, however, argue some of the plot points above you've taken to task. 
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Emperor Norton

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #616 on: 31 Jul 2017, 23:23 »

You missed the exact point I just made. Yes, Alice could defeat Gavia. But there isn't just one Gavia on the planet. And the planet is about to get crazy when super tech takes off. Plus remember the exposition at the end points out that the majority of humans will be able to do what Ardent does with tech very soon.

You really think Church will still be the same level of threat on a planet with massive amounts of super tech everywhere. Yes, he is still dangerous, but he isn't unstoppable. And there is no way he could stop all of that. You are correct about the futility of their power, because the mass amount of power that Church and Alice had mean nothing compared to the oncoming onslaught of power humanity is gaining. And of course, removal of Church only makes a difference if you assume that in the entire world, he was the only one of his kind. Or that Pate was all that unique in outlook.

And even if you do count killing Church and Pate as a big deal: having your characters only accomplishment be solving an issue that the audience didn't even know about until nearly the end of the story is kind of lame.

Also, getting to space ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. That is the point I'm making. They, as individuals learn information, but none of that information is actionable. They now know that the world is about to become covered with supertech humans. (And considering that, it wouldn't have been long before someone reached the Praeses anyway). All they managed is to learn is something they would have learned in a couple of years anyway.

And "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is just sidestepping the whole concept of mass exposition being a terrible way to end a story.
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SmilingCat

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #617 on: 10 Aug 2017, 22:24 »

Odd thought that popped into my head while contemplating a late dinner (don't ask me why, my brain is a rat maze).

But I had a thought about where the AIs went. They went into the people.

We have evidences of phenomenal levels of technology. Including nanotechnology that can perform something not dissimilar to magic.

We know the functions of the praesses were hijacked by something that allowed Ardent and Gavina to become embodied and travel to earth. From a basic data intrusion standpoint, that's easier to do if you already have network access rather than trying to force your way in from the outside.

We also know that the Praesses create virtual worlds from scratch, an "inner reality" that they populate with, for want of a better word, digital copies of humans. Their goal of making it effectively no less "real" than the outer reality suggests that these digital copies would be complete down to the finest detail.

So suppose the AIs, knowing that continued warfare would only push both sides closer to complete extinction, wrote themselves into the human genome and exist as just another part of human microbiota, borrowing from the body for whatever they need to function alongside all the other bugs that hang around on and inside us, maybe writing to our unused (junk) DNA for storage space, drawing excess thermal or bioelectric energy to power any major actions, communicating with each other through human interaction or physical contact. Maybe even influencing people to a degree by tampering with brain chemistry to facilitate communication between each other, and maybe to keep the peace. Humans lost their ambition, as Pate described it. Maybe that was intentional, in order to prevent another cataclysmic war.

So the praesses. They're alien, they'd have no frame of reference of what a human's genome and microbial hangers on are supposed to look like until they get a look at one. So they make their virtual humans, and inadvertently replicate the AIs along with them. These spaceborn AIs figure out where they are, what they are, and how they are, and they see an opportunity to fix everything. Since they're already running on the Praesses network, they gradually figure out how to subvert it to send their chosen agents to earth.

Apologies if someone's already suggested this.

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brasca

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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #618 on: 12 Aug 2017, 09:01 »

Neat theory although it does remind me of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica where the Cylons were created by humans and eventually evolved into human like AIs.  Only difference is these AI descendants don't seem to be out to exterminate humanity.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #619 on: 12 Aug 2017, 15:05 »

God, don't even get me started on that piece of shit ending, all the more frustrating that until the last hour or so, that show was mostly great.
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Re: Alice Grove MCDLT - THE END...?
« Reply #620 on: 25 Sep 2017, 03:29 »

This comic is full of interesting ideas, but nothing feels really developed. We don't see much of the world, even when the characters travel. The ellipses, for example when Alice, Sedna, Ardent and Gavia are travelling in a wagon, are frustrating. It feels as if each time we are placed in a position to see something interesting from this world, some event prevents it from happening. So we don't see much from the town in the beginning (beacuse Gavia arrives and starts to make things explode), neither from that other town in the pit (because Pate arrives), neither from the bunker (they rush through the tunnels) and almost nothing from the praesces at the end (because Laridia arrives). Most of what we know from that world we learned from discussions and not from actions, and the pace was so slow that the rushed ending makes it look like as if even Jeph Jacques got bored. At the end, to me, that comic really lets a feeling of frustration.
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