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Smithson Thus Far... ·

Rob (rrreed) says: Clearly, General Sal was not briefed on the U.N.I.T.Y. program before taking charge of Area 51, or she'd have never given that order.

Someone call the ibuprofen supplier and tell him that an extra case will be required by the end of the day…
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: You know, this will be interesting... does Nick have weapons yet?
llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: @soitbegins: As I understand it, no. Didn't you see the argument he was having the other week?
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Bad Bad Leroy Brown", Jim Croce)

Yeah, she's glad, glad Unity!
Targets far as the eye can see!
Throwin' limbs near and far,
It's lookin' like an abbatoir!

Palle Raabjerg (praabjerg) says: Nick might not have weapons, but I'm sure the nice armed soldiers will bring weapons for Unity to use.
Camaxtli (camaxtli) says: Nick is a helicopter. He is armed with blades. Godawful smoothies will result.

Drinking them is not advised.
Simon Green (vdg) says:

Something like this, perhaps...


Joseph Charneskie (mutantsentry) says:


Those poor poor Security Forces guys.   

William Hostman (aramis) says:


Tip better take cover...

I'm almost scared it will be "Nick to the Rescue"...

Gabe McCarthy (decker) says:

Holy crap I loved Narbonic and I love this comic.

I think being worried when Unity is happy is a reflex by now. 

Joe Glow (joe_glow) says: ahh, this should be very expensively animated.
Rob (rrreed) says: Yes, Tip should be animated on the ones at 48fps walking to the soda machine!
K C (spotweld) says: She has become Shiva... destroyer of worlds (and probably looks pretty hot doing it too.)
K C (spotweld) says:

In the movie, Unity must be played by Summer Glau.

Or at least bits of her.  

Michael Horton (nadriel) says: But Summer has already done the "I wipe out entire rooms full of people and look good doing it" thing. Surely we should give someone else a chance?
llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: I see they found some folding chairs.
William Hostman (aramis) says: Tip's gonna find cover by seeking soda!
Joe Hoffman (joe6pack) says: "Enyo"?  Does that mean that there are two more like her at home?
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says: And no one mentions Tip casually checking his watch in the third panel?
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

I love how it's so violent in there that Tip has to hold down his hat.

Dr. Lee is sitting in this maelstrom of emotional and physical intensity with her legs tightly crossed because, if she doesn't hold it together, she's gonna totally pounce on Tip.

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

To kill, to reap, and more; and by a reaping
To say we end the heartbeat and the thousand PSI
That flesh adheres to.  'Tis a conflagration
Devoutly to be squished.  To kill, to reap;
To reap, perchance to scream.  Aye, there's the nub.
For in their screams of death, what spare parts may come
When we have scuffed off these second-hand knuckles?
(Get it?  "Knuckles"?  "Second hand"?  Verily, myself I slay...)
  ("Mincemeat", Act III, scene 1)

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Ah, a mother's pride.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

"My little necrotic girl's all grown up and removing the spleens of her enemies!"

Gabe McCarthy (decker) says:

They're calling gunships in for one girl? That's not even fair. Unity should let them get tanks in too.

Also, is Dr. Lee quoting anyone in particular?

Lia Mayo (sena) says: I totally second the Summer Glau move. And the expensive animation one. I have this lovely montage in my head of Tip walking past the fight for his soda, silhouetted every time high exposives go off, with the calm little smile of having been mentally braced for Unity in advance... ...and having had hot love the night before and about to get a jolt of caffeine.
John Goard (darthmiho) says:

Maybe it's just my fandom talking, but if we're going to talk Whedonverse alumni, why not Eliza Dushku? It's my impression that Unity is taller than Ms. Glau, and yes I am such a fan of Dushku.


What? It's not like I suggested Sarah Michelle Gelar! Buffy or not, she's all wrong for it!

Paul Lenoue (palenoue) says: As for who will play Unity in the movies, this is Unity we're talking about!  We can use all the best parts of all the leading actresses we want.  Now, who should Unity's left elbow?
Marleen de Kramer (malabarista) says: Hee hee, I read that as "left eyebrow", which is even better!
Lia Mayo (sena) says:

John - I like that, but I atill vote Glau just because I can see Unity pulling a "No power in the 'verse can stop me" and crossovers like that are the greatest justification for crossovers I know.

Of course, since it's Unity, we can easily have both!

Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says: I am totally using that soda excuse next time a customer meeting goes awry.  And who is this Enyo?  Anyone feel like doing my google work for me?
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says:

According to Wikipedia, Enyo is an ancient Greek goddess of war. Her Roman counterpart is Bellona. The name "Bellona" derived from the Latin word for "war" (bellum), and is directly related to the modern English word "belligerent" (lit., "war-waging").

Go Unity.

Basil Jelly (basil_jelly) says: Ultraviolence is so beautiful!
Warren Terra (warren_terra) says:

From Google, the first lines of some hits at Wikipedia: 


  • Enyo in Greek mythology, was an ancient goddess of war
  • Bellona was an Ancient Roman war goddess


 As to whether they've got some broader meaning in popular culture, I'm completely ignorant (obviously, nothing so popular as to dominate the Google results).

Michael Taub (otakuloki) says:

And just think - all those security people have arms.  I don't mean fire arms.  I mean physical, biological arms.  Is there any hard limit to how many arms Unity can control?  I'm thinking just how badass she'd be with six arms, each one holding some kind of weapon. 

And, face it, we all want to see her say, "I am become Shiva.."  

Joe Hoffman (joe6pack) says:

Zarathustra:  Enyo, The Warlike, was one of the Graiai.  (Like Neil Gaiman, Hesiod loved groups of three sisters.)  Her sisters were Dread and The Destroyer.  They had only one eye and one tooth among them, which seems like a pretty basic design flaw that that Dr. Lee has repaired.

Not many stories about Bellona, but I think it's appropriate that her temple in Rome has been blown to smithereens.

Dave Corbett (mr_dave) says: As for who plays the role of Unity, I see bit parts for Carrie-Anne Moss, Tricia Helfer, Kate Beckinsdale and Lucy Lawless...
Andy Wetmore (efogoto) says: If Dr. Lee is quoting someone, Google isn't showing it. In which case, that's a lovely bit of musing from our authors. Is that yours Mr. Wells? I really like it.
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Hee, hee. Bit parts. Heh.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Hey! River Tam VS Unity!
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Andy: Yeah, this one's like 90% Jeffrey.
Decalon Gryphon (decalon) says: Oh! I hope this means that Dr. Lee is going to sign on with SH!
chic geek (onechicgeek) says: Seconded!
David Toboz (professor_zobot) says:

I don't dare hope. I thought Leo was gonna join too and of course that didn't end as I expected it either.

Besides, once you join Anasigma, I'm fairly sure you don't get out non-destroyed. I'm sure Dr. Lee is just proud of Unity behaving as she was programmed to behave.

...but DANG, I'd love for her to join Skin Horse. She's such a strong character thus far anyway...

Joe Glow (joe_glow) says: I just can't help but think that must have been one incredibly powerful panda.
Warren Terra (warren_terra) says:

Now, I'm a big Dr. Lee fan - but consider that if she joins SH then the cast will be:
Tip - Main protagonist. Performs scutwork, long-suffering. Seems to have hidden depths and competencies.
Dr. Lee - Mad scientist. Sexually attracted to  the aforementioned performer of scutwork.
Unity - Extremely violent young lady. I mean, totally bloodthirsty. Quite cheerful about it, though.
Sweetheart - Both intelligent and wise. Tends to avoid violence. Happens to be a cute furry animal.

I think I've seen this cast list before. Mind you, that was (obviously) a great ride, but still ...

Rob (rrreed) says: Rule #40 in action!

@Joe — You're right, though seeing as Lim-Lim is a member of the Chimeric Anti-Defamation League (C.An.D.Le?), who knows what DNA he(?)'s been spliced with. Impressive in retrospect, nonetheless!
John Goard (darthmiho) says: OH gods......beccinsdale in this role....*goes to the happy place*
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Thirded!
Terry Smith (wcfan) says: Joe Glow - maybe it wa the Kung Fu Panda...
Quentin Long (cubist) says:

the intended tune is LAND DOWN UNDER, by Men At Work...

We met this foul-mouthed guy, Zerhakker,
Who'd rather die than be (an) attacker.
We tried to sign him right up and take him
But General Sal said, "We gonna break him."

Now they fight a girl necrotic
Whose battle plans are pure chaotic.
Facing her, you turn neurotic
Don't you know, she's just psychotic!?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "At The Hop", Danny & The Juniors)

Oh, our sabers we did rattle!
But the zombie, to the battle
She did leap!
Now she's snarlin' and a-growlin'
Like a wolf that's on the prowl and
We're the sheep!
Oh, we shoulda started runnin'
Now we'll all of us be done in
By a Jeep!

Clobbered by a Jeep!
Lyin' in a heap!
Soon we all will sleep!
Six feet nice and deep!
Oowwwww oowwwww ...
You can keep the Jeep!

Well, Gonzales got her fist
And catapulted through the mist
Without a peep!
And then Harrison, the newbie,
Tried to grab her by the boobie
And go "Beep"!
But because he didn't ask her
Now his head is in Nebraska
From a Jeep!

Done in by a Jeep!
Price we paid was steep!
Sow and ye shall reap!
Biden's now the Veep!
Aaaaahhh aaaaahhhh ...
What else rhymes with Jeep?

Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: @Quentin:  Good on yer, mate.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Also, Unity may be optimized for fighting humans, and pandas are just enough outside her range to give her trouble. So, is Dr. Lee a good witch or a bad witch?
Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says: Maybe Dr. Lee just wants to get back home.
Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

Dr. Lee's from Groom Lake. Groom Lake is either in the West if we use Earth topology or the East if we use Oz topology. Either way, she would be designated a Hot Witch.

Wicked Witch. Wicked. I meant Wicked.

David Palmer (viadd) says:

Just to lower the tone a bit:

 "My Bellona has a first name, it's U.N.I.T.Y...."

Sorry, that's all I got.  Now you have a frustrated earworm with nowhere to go. 

Krid OCaign (krid) says:

"Besides, once you join Anasigma, I'm fairly sure you don't get out non-destroyed."

... unless you claim to be a non-human sapient, at which point they would have to not only contend with Unity, but also SH's red tape.

To be fair, I'm pretty certain that they'd be happy to let her move from Mad Engineering to Mad Engineering Mad Cleanup Crew. She's not cut-out for this kind of evil conspiracy work, and she's not worth the paperwork it would take to disappear her. Besides, they could always just assign her to SH as a double agent, then forget about her.

Jeffrey Channing Wells (channing) says: Most people who attempt to resign from Anasigma are extirpated.  You still are not authorized to know what "extirpation" is.  It involves walnuts.  Do not ask again.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: So the only thing left to wonder is if Dr. Lee has a hydrophobia issue.
Joshua Kronengold (mneme) says:

If Dr. Lee joins the cast, I called it.


(ok, she's -clearly- joined the cast, just as Madblooddid in a different comic.  If she joins the -central- cast).

It's a good point that Dr. Lee just isn't that good at her current job, and she's becoming an embarassment what with them trying to decomission her current experiment.

 Re similariteis to Narbonic if she joins, well, only kinda.

 N: Dave, primary protag, long-suffering, flunky.  Helen: secondary protag, mad scientist, evil, in charge.  Mell: violent, hot, uncontrollabe/flunky.   Artie: cute, pacifist, outside the power relationship.


If Dr. Lee joined, I'd expect to see:

S:  Tip: primary protag, flunky (ish), hot.  Sweetheart: cute, secondary protag, in charge.  Unity: inhuman monstrosity.  violent. Dr Lee:mad scientist, love interest (kinda.  Tip's popular).


See? Completely different, if largely because in Skin Horse, it's not the humans who are in charge.

Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says:

. . .to say nothing of the fact that Tip has more luck with the ladies in one night than Dave does in one year.



Jeremy Berg (pisceneanteater) says: Also, not only did I laugh out loud at the punchline, but I love the way Dr. Lee's true self has gradually been brought out over the arc, from buttoned-up emotionless professional at the beginning to speaking in what I can only describe as an orgasmic font as she watches her creation wreak utter carnage as a matter of SOP.
Eric Williamson (nytefyre) says:


Does extirpation also include a Moose??

Honora O\'Toole (jinjur) says:

Oh my God. NICK CHOPPER. I cannot beleive I JUST got that one.

As a side note, it seems either too much poesy was added to your commenter's brains or not enough. :P


The horror… the horror… the horror…
Rob (rrreed) says: To pull the laugh off, one must needs be mad, yes. But you tend to miss less if you refrain from doing so (Rule #20), so don't sweat it, Dr. Lee.

And now that Unity's serving up finger food, it's time to queue up Weird Al's Party At The Leper Colony!
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says: Ok, Dr. Lee HAS to stay now. I mean, how many non-mad evil scientists ARE there in comics???
Chris Reed (animeraider) says: She is.... is.... one of us!
Eric Burns (ericburns) says: There's something to be said for the wannabes.
Rob (rrreed) says: She so desperately wants to be mad — Mad, I tell you, MAD! — but she's just so self-conscious about it…
fluffy <3 (fluffy) says: Tip needs to consult a dictionary or Wikipedia or something.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

(TUNE: "Luck Be A Lady", Frank Loesser)

Unity's raging tonight!
Now all their fingers she'll bite!
She's found entelechy!
She's made me oh so happy!
Love watching Unity fight!

llearch n'n'daCorna (llearch) says: @animeraider: *chants* "one of us! one of us! one of us! ..." ;-]
John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

It's not very often that a webcomic forces me to consult a dictionary.

Also, "... and then she beat up a panda," sounds like it ought to be a Noodle Incident, not something that actually happened in the last storyline. 

Joyce Melton (halfelven) says:

17 23 88 30

Oh, not that kind of in-tele-key? 

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: For those with insufficient dictionary power:
Gregory Rihn (ggrihn) says: For this situation, I like the definition:
  1. In the philosophy of Aristotle, the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized; actuality.

So, Unity has fully realized her potential--.

Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says:

As the people at Wikipedia wonder at the sudden traffic spike...

Dr Lee has found that you can't use two-dollar words before starting The Laugh.  Simple  phrases such as "It's ALIVE!" or "And I will destroy you all!" help set up the natural  breathing rhythm.  

Not having someone next to you nonchalantly sucking on a soda helps, too.

David Harmon (mental_mouse) says:

Interesting.. Wikipedia seems to have whupped both my Webster, and the online Mirriam-Webster, on this one.

However, it does seem to be a properly geeky thing to say when "it's ALIVE!" doesn't apply!

I like how her companions don't even startle at her laugh.  And who's to say she isn't mad?  After all, you don't actually have to know you're mad!




Gabe McCarthy (decker) says: Tip is still unphased. He must have sex with a lot of mad scientists.
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: OK. That settles it. Lee stays.
Andrew Kunz (miyaa) says: So in other words, Unity has leveled up? (*insert Final Fantasy Victory Pose Music here*)
John Goard (darthmiho) says: I wonder if Dr. Lee has read any of the Tinasky papers....
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: "Entelechy".  Means you have a thing for Treebeard, right?
Zarathustra's Id (zarathustrasid) says: I have learned something new, and now my mind is expanded. The Internet itself has achieved Entelechy.
K C (spotweld) says: For some reason I keep thinking of Dr. Lee as a catgirl.. but without the feline appearance.
Rob (rrreed) says: @David — A true mad scientist doesn't care about what other people think, other than, "…to show them all!" I think that while Dr. Lee may be a bit… off… she's just not mad enough. But she wants to be!
Lady Asphodel (ladyasphodel) says:

Coming in late to the SH/Narbonic correspondence debate here, but....

I agree that Dr. Lee = Professor Madblood. They're roughly the same body type, both sexy yet awkwardly self-conscious, both relative latecomers to the storyline, and both potential love interests.

Helen Narbon, as no one seems to have sussed yet, corresponds directly to Gavotte.

Adam Underfoot (unnatural20) says: But... madblood is at his core a twerp. We don't know what Dr. Lee is at her core, but I don't think the answer is 'twerp.'
Joyce Melton (halfelven) says: Don't mess with the social worker, boys, she's got sharp pointy teeth. :)
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says:

The neat part is, this is (sort of) the field I'm currently studying for, and this is kinda how I want some of my jobs to go.

Granted, I specifically want to work with children in a "companionship counselling" kind of role - but yes, dog piles with army helments would qualify as a "good day" in my book.

And I want shadowy superiors. Or flashy light up ones. I'm easy that way. And to be refered to as "black ops SS".

ranjit (ranjit) says: A helicopter will totally show up those jerks in the Dept. of Jetpack Suppression!
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says: OK, if a plan where you lose your hat is a bad plan, what is it when you gain a new hat and some spare organs?  (A great weekend, I suppose ...)
Rob (rrreed) says: Iz only gud veekend uf new hat fitz…
John Goard (darthmiho) says: Awwwww Unity is so adorable in the first panel!
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

You know I only draw hats on Unity to make y'all talk like Jaegers.

I meant to have Unity get a fire helmet off the firefighters in the previous storyline, and then I forgot. So this is kind of making up for it.
William Hostman (aramis) says:

Zee hatszz ist gud. Jäegers ist gud.

 Doughboy helmetz ist not gud! Iz AN-ACH-Kro-nizzz-em...

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

Black Ops Social Services (BOSS)

Shadowy Superiors are highly overrated, but General Sal is right. Usually someone else screwed up so much worse than you did that, when it gets to the shadowy superiors, your screwup is a tiny proportion of their problem and gets ignored. Or your shadowy superior is so busy battling other shadowy superiors that he has no time to actually run his organization.

Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Tip, Agent of B.O.S.S.!
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Also:
Elaine Corvidae (elaine_corvidae) says: Hy tink Shaenon iz knowing uz too vell.
Johnn Reynolds (sleepyjohn) says: Nu one respeck Tip koz Tip gotz sissy hat.
Eric Burns (ericburns) says:

Hey -- never underestimate the power of Tranvestite Jaeger Psychologist.

Ve haff vays of makking yu get in tuch vith yer feelinz....

So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Black Ops Social Services = BOSS!
Anders Smith (mrsitouh) says: Also, Judy Dench is now permanently the voice for the General in my head, just for that last line of hers.
Shaenon Garrity (shaenongarrity) says:

Wow, I think this is the first week we've topped 100 comments.
NigaiAmai Yume (nigaiamai_yume) says: Ok, now I can make the shirt found here and make it LEGITIMATE. Once I get a job in Social Services, of course.
Bryce Utting (butting) says: @Johnn Reynolds: take zat back!  Iz TASTY hat!
Sam Daniel (samhdaniel) says: In the first panel, is Unity chewing on the hat, or on the head inside?
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: Sam: Hat. Notice the bite out of it in the last panel.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: And thus, she echoes Tip's pose of a few days back. :) USA! USA!
Scott Lawrence (risky) says: This makes me want to make a clipped together Skin Horse strip where those two poses are interposed into the middle of the sexy strips. Possibly interposed as well would be the picture of Tip with two random fangirls.
Ed Gedeon (eddurd) says:

She poses, Triumphant Lee!

Erin Palette (palette) says: Ed Gedeon must be stopped before he puns again.
Michael McLawhorn (mhoram) says: Mr. Green is the Wizard.
Dave Van Domelen (dvandom) says: The Great and Terrible Woz.
Jon W. (kd7sov) says: @risky: That makes a lot more sense on second readthrough, what with having initially read "interposed" as "superimposed".
Eric Meyer (anvilwarrior) says:

Virginia wins,

Indubitib Lee.

When they answered they said,

Certain Lee.

Rob (rrreed) says:
(With apologies to Tom Lehrer & The Electric Company)
To the tune of
L-Y, of course!

You're wearing your squeaky shoes
And right there taking a snooze
Is a tiger, but who just walks on by?
Silent Lee, Silent Lee, Silent… L-E-E

You're a secret agent man
Who's after the secret plan
Who do you get that they don't know's a spy?
Normal Lee, Normal Lee, Normal… L-E-E

At an eating contest you boast
Your friend can eat the most
Who do get to down a hundredth piece of pie?
Eager Lee, Eager Lee, Eager… L-E-E

On the lake your boat upset
And your clothes got soaking wet
Who did you get to wait for them to dry?
D-d-d-d-d Patient Lee, d-d-d-d-d Patient Lee, Patient… L-E-E

In the public library
You fall and you hurt your knee
But the sign says, "quiet please," so who can cry?
Quiet Lee, Quiet Lee, Quiet… L-E-E

As you walk along the street
A porcupine you meet
Who will shake his hand when he says hi?
Careful Lee, Careful Lee, Careful… L-E-E

You enter a very dark room
And sitting there in the gloom
Is Dracula! Now who stays and says goodbye?
Immediate Lee! Immediate Lee! Immediate L-E-E!
Bye Bye!
So It Begins (soitbegins) says: Mr Green... next we'll be seeing Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith, I have no doubt.
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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile