#219 – “Seize the Defias”

I couldn’t see Edwin VanCleef besting Hani Foonmall in a fair fight; thus initially – in terms of over a year ago – my ideas were centered around how I could possibly keep Hani out of that fight for the sake of tension. By now.. I’ve actually changed my mind and concluded that not only does VanCleef not have to be as good as Hani is – I actually think he’s more interesting because he isn’t. He can’t just go up and expect to beat her at her own game – he has to play it smart, take a chance to spot and exploit her failings; which is to say, he gets to use his own strengths to counter hers.


20 Responses to “#219 – “Seize the Defias””

  1. August 21, 2010 at 23:45

    Yah, he’s really good at what he does. Amazing stuff, Nhani.

  2. 2 Noriam
    August 22, 2010 at 00:00

    ALMOST a boot to the head, alas. You could see the “Oh, that was below the belt” look in her face when she saw that.

    That said, he got lucky with saying that unless he KNOWS.

    Next week on CSI: Westfall, Edwin VanCleef is the Renegade Psychic.

    Great work as always.

    • 3 Nhani
      August 22, 2010 at 11:30

      It’s meant as a lucky guess facilitated through some degree of genre savvy. Edwin VanCleef may be somewhat mistaken regarding his own archetype, but he does seem to recognize Hanis’..

  3. 4 wowplayer
    August 22, 2010 at 01:03

    you can tell she is just about to de-limb him then decapitate him…

  4. 5 TC
    August 22, 2010 at 03:29

    lies, he will make a dazzling escape in a steam of smoke!

  5. 6 Eduvudd
    August 22, 2010 at 08:58

    I can see VanCleef hit the mark with the redemption line and the fight is only going to be more intresting that ever! and now that I see that he has a pistol, it brings up the question of what its intrended for, very worth the wait

  6. August 22, 2010 at 10:02

    I’m surprised he hasn’t used the gun yet tbh, must be planning for something….

  7. 8 deathchiller
    August 22, 2010 at 14:24

    i like the fact that hani actually gets hit, as it shows she isnt invinsible :)

  8. 9 Ripwarrior
    August 22, 2010 at 14:27

    In my opinion I’m a bit disapointed that vancleef is “beaten” so easily, and got to rely on tricks. I know this is all very realistic regarding the fact that he isn’t a soldier, and Hani got quite some combat experience( of course, more than him at least)

    I guess my disapointment is just there because of my vision of Van Cleef,beeing like a sort of ninja-type of villian :P I always liked him a lot, and I supose I would’ve preffered seeing him actually do more than dirty tricks, but he just isn’t that good.

    Anyways, my useless ranting is done, I loved the page, can’t wait for the next one :-D

    • August 22, 2010 at 17:07

      Real ninjas didn’t fight when they could avoid it. When they were out to kill somebody, the usual modus operandi was, “either sneak or bluff your way to the target, murder him, and leave, preferably before anybody knows he’s dead.”

      • 11 Ripwarrior
        August 22, 2010 at 20:43

        Okey, so I got it a bit wrong, but I thought of the type that would at least be able to actually fight, instead of getting knocked down or disarmed as fast as he is, but well :p that’s just me

    • 12 tgrhwke
      August 22, 2010 at 20:54

      I don’t think it’s so much that Van Cleef can’t fight well, but more that he using whatever advantage he can get to draw Hani as far away from the group as possible. He knows that he can’t fight the entire group while they are together and his best option is to separate her from them to try to make the fight more on equal terms.

  9. 13 Nimrod
    August 22, 2010 at 23:23

    I’ve just finished reading through your work, and I have to say, it’s fantastic. Your adaptation of the quests is brilliant, dialogue and story are amazing, and the comic itself is masterfully presented. Amazing work :)

  10. 14 Phan56
    August 23, 2010 at 05:32

    I’d have to side with Ripwarrior here, but that’s because it has always been a matter of perception. Van Cleef was trained by Mathias Shaw, the leader of SI:7, so we know he’s a good fighter. Though we don’t know the full extent of his combat prowess because Blizzard never really flushed it out.

    I just find myself disappointed he’s not receiving the credit that I see he deserves, but again that’s all pretty much on me. Hani is over four times his age and very well-trained herself.

    Oh, and since this is my first comment I just have to say I love the work you’ve done. Stellar work, indeed! Characterization, the characters and their varying personalities, etc. It’s all very good work.

    • 15 Nhani
      August 23, 2010 at 08:43

      It’s definitely about perception, I’d say, and I observed this much back during the infamous page #93 when young Hani Foonmall punched out Staghelm. For me, she’d just caught a politician and occasional general unaware, for some.. she’d just one-shot a raidboss.

      For me, Edwin VanCleef is about the cunning – as much as he’s described having been a “peerless fighter in his youth”, the Defias aren’t built on his martial capacity, they’re built on his scheming. Just putting them toe to toe and leaving it at that really didn’t seem interesting to me, especially since for pure combat potential, I actually thought Sneed’s Shredder a greater threat.

      Interestingly enough, it’s discounted all the same when people claim there’s never been any difficult battles, and there’s still calls to Hani’s invincibility in spite of her having been wearing a bandage for near one hundred pages now ;)

      So yes, it’s definitely about perspective. Hani may hold the martial upper hand, but there’s not a single inch of ground she gains that she hasn’t been baited along. She might be the one holding him to the ground, but he’s the one in control of the situation, no matter how much ground he’s been giving. For me, that was far more empowering, and far more interesting, than simply taking him from a good to an incredible swordsman.

      • 16 Luklan
        August 25, 2010 at 16:43

        Oddly enough, I think the fact that VanCleef was trained by Mathias Shaw is why he should be a cunning combatant, using wit and guile more than just raw skill. Keeping his opponent off-balance and exploting their weaknesses, more than just using his own strengths. He was trained by an assassin and a spy, not Highlord Bolvar. *blink*

        I really don’t know why people seem disappointed. The whole thing seems to fit the character archtype, imo.

  11. 17 saila AKS Wester
    August 23, 2010 at 13:22

    well Nhani I said that I needed some time finding an good song for this and I think I have found it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc9-CoFzixY that or an song from the matrix…
    found one of them http://www.gametrailers.com/user-movie/dead-fantasy-ii-no-sfx/234238 but am not to sure if they would fit that mush.

    • 18 saila AKS Wester
      August 23, 2010 at 13:30

      some error noted the when I said matrix well they wasn’t from matrix but I swear that I can rember an song from there think its the motorway chase or when they are in that house to get the key maker.

  12. 19 LolDrood
    August 23, 2010 at 15:25


    OOoooh, I went there! Nothing is sacred!

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