Act 5 Act 2, Part 12 of 32
Pages 3133-3195 (MSPA: 5033-5095)
HO HO HO
WV, thinking John is dead, tries to escape his command station but the door jams because the station is out of fuel.
Of course you still have your secret treasure, but it will almost certainly prove to be of no use to you in this dilemma whatsoever. It clearly serves no significant purpose other than to be pretty, and to make your hand glowy.
Sure, whatever you say, Mr. Narrator! Some time later in the exile arc, we learn about plans for dealing with Jack Noir where it’s made clear that the ring will be used for stuff. With that in mind, PM being the final wearer of the ring is quite the plot twist.
Oh yeah, there’s another thing you forgot about! You ate that delicious green nuclear rock earlier in the day, even though it feels like it was more than a year ago.
Here’s something Homestuck occasionally does: linking to earlier pages in order to remind people of things they might have forgotten about. I think this probably should be done more often; for example, I’ve seen people reading Homestuck completely forget about the time Karkat told past Jade her robot will blow up when it is referenced several times later. In this case it’s a reminder of the Chekhov’s uranium. The “more than a year ago” bit is another one of those things that made the most sense to serial readers. But I guess that could make sense to archival readers (most especially those reading at a slow pace) given that as the link reminds us, the uranium was eaten over two thousand pages ago.
Ugh, there he goes again, bothering you. He is so impatient. Doesn’t he realize how time consuming it is preparing for the holidays? He’s just going to have to hold his stupid angry alien space horses.
Wait… you almost forgot, it’s still April, and nowhere near the holiday season. You guess all this wintry weather tricked you into thinking it was.
But wait! Even THAT doesn’t make any sense, since it never snowed on your island, and you were never able to connect it with the holiday season! Boy, are you confused.
But you always wanted a white Christmas, and dammit, that is what you are going to have, even though it’s April, and even though you are giving all these presents to yourself, and even though Jesus Christ is no longer a relevant figure to celebrate on account of the annihilation of humanity!
This is yet another part that made the most sense to serial readers. But it’s not that hard to guess that these panels were posted around Christmas time. I hadn’t previously realized it, but the following stretch of pages is essentially Homestuck: The Christmas Special. And I’m going to say stuff about Christmas specials.
Almost every TV show or other serial work of media will have at least one Christmas special, often in the second season. The classic Christmas special goes something like this: the characters meet Santa Claus and discover through him the true meaning of Christmas. However, in more modern works of media, as well as those geared towards older audiences, the theme of the Christmas special will be toyed with and in some way massively subverted. Think of a TV show or whatever else. Now think of its Christmas special. How much would you say it subverts the typical Christmas pattern? Repeat this process as many times as you want.
The narration quoted above specifically talks about how it’s not actually Christmas even though this is the Christmas special. Homestuck is a work of media that’s all about subverting typical patterns. Before we open presents, I should note that this is the only Christmas special in Homestuck, unless you count John’s alchemy binge, posted near the previous Christmas.
This is one of the most hilarious panels in Homestuck, subverting the pattern of detailed portraits (1, 2, 3, 4) we’ve been getting of some of the other trolls. The narration says, “Karkat cannot be conveyed with a more detailed portrait yet. He is too angry, and is forced to look like shit. Maybe later if he can manage to calm down.” Better yet, the drawing is very crude but still has subtly flashing screen light effects.
TG: yes perfect
GG: it is the prettiest tree i have ever seen!!!!!
TG: ok im going to torrent you another like negative billion artifact grists
GG: ok great!
GG: everything about that makes total sense
Dave is helping Jade make a Christmas themed upon everyone’s favorite comic. This Christmas special focuses mainly on Jade, but it also has people working together to set up a very merry Christmas.
Also, Jade is right on here. Why do you even need negative artifact grist? What purpose does it serve? How can you have negative amounts of grist in the first place?
As you can see from comparing the two pictures above, the conksuck boot above is literally flat and 2-dimensional. This whole SBaHJ-ey Christmas interlude is a nice goofy and silly break from dramatic shit.
GG: is this conksucky enough
TG: its the conksuckiest piece of fucking shit that ever still somehow qualified as a boot
TG: you just know imigrants were responsible
GG: i am not even sure if i am technically a u.s. citizen!
TG: yeah see what i mean
It sort of says something about Jade’s life that she apparently doesn’t know whether she’s a U.S. citizen. This implies that she doesn’t know what country she lives in. I’m pretty sure her island’s coordinates are in U.S. territory but I have no idea whether that counts as being a citizen. More on Jade’s isolation from society later.
Jade proceeds to have her own alchemy binge, and I’ll comment on whatever parts I feel like commenting on.
A few times in this sequence, including this alchemization, Jade uses some of her friends’ possessions. How did she get those? Probably Dave just gave her the code.
Jade tries to alchemize earmuffs but ends up making a fluffy ball plus headband instead. As the narration says, why is this thing so expensive? The sizable cost implies some kind of special use, though I can’t think of any use for such a thing.
You have secretly wondered whether your grandpa was actually Iron Man in his younger years. It would explain so many things, including why this armor is here.
This page is another one of these moments where an easily missable bit from a while back is brought to light. In this case, it’s the inexplicable Iron Man suit amidst a room full of knight armor.
Also, it’s pretty interesting to consider the implications of the narration’s statement that Jade wondered whether her grandpa is Iron Man (she should totally tell Jake this). This either demonstrates her grandpa’s status as an impossibly awesome guy or Jade’s status as someone secluded from society. I guess it could be both things.
There’s quite a bit of evidence throughout the comic that Jade is pretty isolated from society (for instance, remember when she dunked a towel in a toilet to try and clean it?), but despite that, she generally acts pretty normal. For example, even though she apparently follows through with the creepy taxidermy tradition, she seems to know it’s weird given that she warns John not to look in the lab atop her house because of her dead dream self. This reminds me of how Kanaya is emphasized in her introduction to be isolated from troll society but isn’t portrayed as oblivious to cultural norms, if anything the opposite. Jake, on the other hand, is portrayed as heavily oblivious to stuff because of his isolation from society, almost deconstructing Jade’s life. The alpha kids are in general deconstructions of traits of the beta kids—taking traits from beta kids and bringing them in a whole new direction—and I’ll have a lot to say about that when we meet them.
Jade makes an Iron Man suit and the pattern breaking count is back yet again. (20) The other kids eventually settle on a single outfit by the halfway point of Act 5 Act 2, but Jade switches between all the outfits she’s made.
If you are going to adopt a new regular outfit, you’d prefer something a little comfier and less ostentatious, and if possible, in less flagrant violation of copyright laws.
I totally forgot this funny copyright joke. Homestuck has never really followed copyright laws, flagrantly including appearances of and even more allusions to numerous works of media. This has some serious ramifications on Hiveswap, the upcoming Homestuck adventure game. I’ve heard that Hiveswap will use a troll alphabet different from the Daedric alphabet stolen from The Elder Scrolls that Homestuck uses.
…none other than Johnny 5 himself! I was expecting something more complicated but it’s worth the gag.
Jade’s alchemy sequence ends with the narration saying, “Ok that’s enough.” followed by “HAPPY APRIL 13TH, 2009 EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, rubbing it in our face that this Christmas special isn’t on Christmas in-comic. It’s also a great example of the weirdness of webcomic time; Homestuck is probably an extreme case of this, with years of updates taking place over days.
Also, I’m pretty sure it’s April 14th, 2009 by now, not April 13th. The kids’ game entries are all spaced apart by around four hours, and John entered around 5:30 PM Pacific time, so Jade entered around 5:30 AM John’s time zone. Jade is four hours west of John so it’s at least April 14th, 1:30 AM in Jade’s time zone at this point. When the 24-hour reckoning ended and the session is scratched, I think it would be April 15, 2009, around 5:00 AM John’s time zone.
Pedantry aside, Jade’s alchemy binge is pretty cool but it doesn’t beat the amber smuppets and stuff that Dave made. In any case, merry not-Christmas everyone!
Jade answers Eridan, who I guess is the troll featured at the tail-end of this Christmas interlude. It would’ve been cool if the troll here was Gamzee because Christmas is in his zodiac sign, but whatever. There’s probably some alternate version of the zodiac where Christmas is in Eridan’s sign.
CA: noww that youre done makin all that pointless rubbish
CA: ivve got somethin wway more wworth your wwhile
GG: which one were you again?
GG: werent you the guy who was always trying to hit on me??
CA: that couldvve been anyone
Eridan has a point here; at least half of the trolls have tried to hit on one or more of kids. I mentioned two posts ago that it’s really weird that so many of the trolls try to hit on the kids, and it seems like they acknowledge this.
CA: so you might as wwell take it and settle your score wwith that awwful wwitch
GG: im the wwitch!
GG: i mean witch
If Eridan was Jade’s patron troll, she would no doubt make this mistake a lot.
GG: i do not have a score to settle with rose!!!
GG: why would you think that?
CA: wwell fuck
CA: suppose i wwas guessin it wwas natural to presume somesuch relation like that betwween the twwo a you
GG: i think you are projecting your own attitude on to others
GG: just because you tend to hate and/or hit on everyone you meet doesnt mean everyone else is that way
Jade is pretty much summing up the deal with Eridan. Projecting your own attitude onto others always makes for hilarious dialogue, and it’s something a lot of trolls do.
GG: rose just sent me a code for a crystal ball, shes my friend and is basically the best!
I guess that answers the question of how Jade used her friends’ possessions in alchemy. Pretty much what I presumed.
CA: oh i see so she shared her “magic secrets” wwith you then
CA: its probably a trap i wwouldnt trust her
CA: she is a cunnin and treacherous sort trust me i knoww her type
This troll is hilarious. Did I mention that? Even though Rose called him a complete idiot he still inexplicably sees her as an adversary he just outclassed.
CA: oh wwill you just take the fuckin gun already
GG: no i dont want it!!!!!
CA: its a wway more powwerful wweapon than any of that crap you made
CA: its a legendary relic wwithout equal
GG: more like a legendary piece of shit!
CA: youre bein needlessly fuckin stubborn about this im doin you a fuckin favvor here
GG: yes but i dont like you very much and i feel really icky about accepting a present from you
Note the phrase “a present from you”. This reminds me of the Christmas stuff that just happened.
Eridan gives Jade the code for Ahab’s Crosshairs and she recognizes it.
GG: i have seen this before
CA: howws that possible
CA: its a one of a kind wweapon plundered from an alternian ghost ship
GG: i am very sure its the same rifle included with johns present
GG: bigger of course
CA: probably a cheap imitation of the original
CA: kind of like that one there is
CA: so theres your answwer stable loops ahoy
CA: noww enjoy the utter fuckin domination it affords
This newly made copy of Ahab’s Crosshairs is almost certainly the one that’ll be sent to the lotus time capsule. Sending the bunny’s weapons to the time capsule is one of those plot points that still needs to be resolved as of the Omegapause. I think there’s a 60% chance that it’ll be explicitly shown how that’ll play out. I say 60% because it’s largely pretty obvious how that’ll happen. The obvious part is how to get the weapons. Each of the four weapons probably has a copy currently available to put in: the Warhammer of Zillyhoo alchemized in the trickster arc; the Quills of Echidna taken from Echidna; the Royal Deringer which I think is a stage of the whole Welsh sword cycle thing; and of course, the copy of Ahab’s Crosshairs Jade just alchemized. The non-obvious part is who will do the task. I’m sure by now most of the characters have realized that the bunny will bring nothing but trouble, so I’m not sure who will be up for the task. Maybe Vriska will coerce Jake, who is oblivious to the danger the bunny provides as far as we know, into doing it? Or did some Derse agent already steal the weapons while we weren’t looking?
GG: yes but….
GG: i did not provide the weapons!
GG: my penpal did
CA: wwhos that
GG: the guy who helps me build the present
GG: we worked on it together but he supplied the bunnys weapons
GG: im pretty sure hes from the future!
GG: because he said hes my grandson
It would be pretty interesting if Jade’s penpal turned out to be literally Jade’s grandson. But knowing the mixed-up family relations in Homestuck it’s not at all illogical to guess that he’s not her genetic grandson. If we are to assume that he is her genetic grandson, then this guarantees that some Jade ship will be canon.
CA: wwhat the fuck is a grandson
CA: is that some kind of pervverse human familial thing
GG: umm yes
CA: nevvermind then your procreational biologistics make my fins curl in distaste
GG: oh no!!!!!
GG: aaaaa please dont tell anyone i told you about him!
GG: augh how could i let that slip to you of all people
CA: settle dowwn jade youre radically underestimatin the amount of shit i dont givve about this
Surprisingly, Eridan of all people is the voice of reason here.* Pointlessly withholding information is sort of a thing in Homestuck. The aggravating thing about that is, 99% of withheld information is completely harmless to let out, and will at worst be thought of as some kind of prank.
* I’ve been waiting for months to say that.
GG: i have wondered about that, assuming he is right…
GG: he was so nice, and it really did feel like i was talking to family, so i really dont think he was making it up
GG: i couldnt help but try to imagine his parents…
Here, Jade is assuming that her penpal had parents. That assumption is a bit weird when you consider that before the ectobiology sequence, the identities of John’s mother, Rose’s father, and Dave’s and Jade’s parents are never once brought up.
GG: and more interestingly…….
GG: his grandfather :O
GG: i still wonder who it could be…
GG: although i guess at this point
GG: the options are pretty limited 😮
I can only imagine Jade thinking that she’ll have to have babies with Dave or sleuth out some other boy playing a Sburb session if she doesn’t want to bang a troll.
CA: ok i think im startin to feel ill talkin about things makin me fathom pink wwigglers comin out a your owwn personal torso
CA: so change a fuckin subject
Apparently the trolls know a thing or two about how humans reproduce that isn’t bullshit. It’s never really made clear how trolls came about to understanding human culture, other than I guess deducing certain things from the Trollian viewports.
CA: that gun i just gavve you is somethin of a hatchright to the kid
CA: happy i could play a role in your dirty stinkin lineage
GG: like an heirloom? i guess it could be
GG: do you even have those? if you dont have parents how could you?
CA: no wwe dont knoww our direct forebears and im pretty sure any attempt to seek out or evven inquire about the supplier of your genes wwould be a fine wway to get yourself killed
It’s pretty interesting how Eridan is describing things about troll culture. It’s an unsettling thought, not just not knowing who your genes came from, but not being allowed to know, and since we’re talking about trolls, death is the penalty.
This bit brought to mind the pages where we learned about troll reproduction, and I just thought up something: when Karkat created the trolls, probably all their genes combined in one big slurry to create the other twelve trolls, and each one inherits genes from all the trolls, but the largest portion from one of them.
CA: but wwevve got our lore and it says wwe all got indivvidual ancestors wwho contribute to most of our genes abovve and beyond wwhat the grubs slurry does
CA: oh shut up
CA: anywway a lot of us believve wwere meant to trace the footsteps of those ancestors evven though wwe can nevver knoww em
CA: and on that journey wwe can come across belongings they once had cause wwe wwere hatched to find em and finish their wwork
CA: i kinda think thats wwhy i found the gun in the first place
CA: but noww im forsakin it because fuck i just found a better destiny than my old crappy one wwhich i nevver got any appreciation for anywway
This is the first description of the concept of ancestors. It’s sort of a common thing in works of fiction for there to be a group of historical figures, each of whom strongly corresponds to a major character, from some specific time era. The ancestors are a pretty tangential aspect of Homestuck, though from what I can tell there’s quite a lot of fanworks about them. Some of the Homestuck videos I watched before reading the comic were weird stuff that featured them, which was a big factor in my impression of Homestuck.
Once I made a YouTube video that featured a snippet of some Homestuck video featuring the ancestors (among about ten other videos), and in the description I called those characters “some random animated characters”. Then a commenter told me that the characters are from Homestuck and their names are The Signless, The Ψiioniic, etc., which I thought was bizarre. In my first read, I never once reached the part where I thought to myself, oh, that’s the part with all those weird “the this, the that” characters. Although I do recall thinking of the Condesce (and also Meenah) as weird evil versions of Feferi.
Introducing the weird troll session countdown thing whatsit. 10:25 hours before some event, Jack slices the victory platform door in half and the trolls go to the meteor lab; 6:12 hours Jack destroys Prospit; 5:12 hours Karkat wakes up as we saw in Alterniabound; and here we are at 4:13 hours. These few pages are clearly meant to introduce the whole countdown thing, and they’re probably when Hussie had the idea for it. The whole point of the countdown I think is mostly to give people a scale of time for the troll session stuff.
AA: i guess i sh0uld say s0mething
AA: bef0re i g0
TA: aradiia, ii am riight glubbiing here, liike two feet away from you.
TA: iif you want two 2ay 2omethiing two me why don’t you ju2t turn two your left and 2ay iit, iit’2 bad enough that you’ve hardly 2aiid two lou2y word2 two me 2iince you became that 2weaty a22hole’2 2moochbot.
AA: i kn0w
AA: but this is hard f0r me
TA: how ii2 iit hard.
TA: you are a tiin can, robot2 don’t have feeliing2.
AA: n0 thats n0t true
TA: ok then, what ii2 iit.
AA: s0rry ab0ut everything
AA: and all the bad luck y0uve had
AA: y0u didnt deserve it
AA: i have t0 g0 n0w
TA: what, where are you goiing?
AA: im n0t sure
TA: er, cool ii gue22??
Here, Aradia is making her goodbyes, and trying her best to reconcile despite being a robot. Her apology gives her a bit of development as a character. First off, she is making her goodbyes to Sollux, her longtime friend, rather than Equius, who she was merely programmed to love. In a sense this is showing some emotions amidst her empty soul. That probably sounds lame but whatever. Also, she recognizes that the manipulative stuff she did to Sollux was rather undeserved, more hints of emotion.
AA: anyway thats it
TA: you mean for good, wiill ii see you agaiin?
AA: i d0nt kn0w that either
AA: but i guess if y0u d0
AA: pr0bably n0t with y0ur eyes
TA: what the hell i2 that 2uppo2ed two mean?
AA: i think y0ull be 0k with it th0ugh
Yet another bit reminding us of something we might have forgotten about. Back in the trolls’ arc, Sollux talked about the prophecy that he will die, become blind, and die again. Now we’re reminded of the blind part of that prophecy, the second third of it.
AA: i wish
AA: i c0uld s0meh0w make that em0tic0n smile
AA: n0 that l00ks stupid
AA: 0h well
Here, Aradia is trying to smile. It’s interesting seeing her try her best to make a heartfelt goodbye.
At long last, robotic Aradia smiles as she gives Sollux a hug and then…
And there it is, fulfilling a promised future event in Alterniabound. Sollux takes off his glasses and sheds weird mustard tears. (I am not at all sorry for the gross imagery this will surely evoke.)
An hour later Terezi watches Doomed Dave wake up, saying that was apparently pointless given he was supposed to get killed in his sleep and then ascend. But then…
And that’s the ultimate failure of the attempt to get Dave to god tier. I already discussed this failure last post. Terezi breaks down in tears at the death of this Dave and leaves the lab. See you next time as Jadesprite becomes a thing.