History Webcomic / SkinDeep

3rd Dec '17 12:46:45 PM nombretomado
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27th Sep '17 11:24:03 PM Watermist
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** Possibly the most mysterious species so far, it appears that the RiddlingSphinx was spilt (possibly?) into two quasi-species, the females and the males, and it seems that they shared a power source; the more sphinxes, the less power they had individually. Additionally, it's been implied that the sphinxes left behind plenty of mysteries to solve, [[spoiler:including their LostTechnology, which included creating medallions]].
27th Sep '17 11:19:15 PM Watermist
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* TheLastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Michelle is the last sphinx, and since the sphinxes apparently shared a mysterious "source of power," it also means that Michelle has inherited ''every last bit of the '''entire''' sphinx power.'']]

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* TheLastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Michelle is the last sphinx, and since the sphinxes apparently shared a mysterious "source of power," it also means that Michelle has inherited ''every last bit of the '''entire''' sphinx power.power source.'']]
27th Sep '17 11:18:22 PM Watermist
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* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Michelle is [[spoiler:the [[TheLastOfHisKind last sphinx]],]] and potentially has enormous powers... that she cannot currently use except in dire emergency. All of this makes her a target for Angels, Demons, Dragons, and anyone else who might have an agenda or a hand in the [[spoiler: sphinx and dragons' mutual genocide]] in the Great War. So far "target" is the only thing she understands.

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* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Michelle is [[spoiler:the [[TheLastOfHisKind last sphinx]],]] and potentially has enormous powers... that she cannot currently use except in dire emergency. All of this makes her a target for Angels, Demons, Dragons, and anyone else who might have an agenda or a hand in the [[spoiler: sphinx the sphinxes' and dragons' mutual genocide]] in the Great War. So far "target" is the only thing she understands.


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* TheLastOfHisKind: [[spoiler:Michelle is the last sphinx, and since the sphinxes apparently shared a mysterious "source of power," it also means that Michelle has inherited ''every last bit of the '''entire''' sphinx power.'']]
27th Sep '17 11:11:59 PM Watermist
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* NotSoExtinct: Sphinxes and dragons supposedly wiped each other out centuries ago. Yet Michelle is a sphinx, [[spoiler: and dragons aren't quite extinct yet either.]]

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* NotSoExtinct: Sphinxes and dragons supposedly wiped each other out centuries ago. [[spoiler: Yet Michelle is a sphinx, [[spoiler: and dragons aren't quite extinct yet either.]]



* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Well, Ordinary College Student for Michelle, until she picked up a random trinket dropped by a stranger [[spoiler: which was actually the shade of her dead father.]]

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* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Well, Ordinary College Student for Michelle, until she picked up a random trinket dropped by a stranger stranger... [[spoiler: which was actually the shade of her dead father.]]



** InUniverse the term "monster" is used generally for creatures who have no medallions to assume human form (like Harpies), more specifically for non-sapient creatures like the nightmare and the Momo, and very specifically for those who prey on other sapients like most manticores.

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** InUniverse In-universe, the term "monster" is used generally for creatures who have no medallions to assume human form (like Harpies), more specifically for non-sapient creatures like the nightmare and the Momo, and very specifically for those who prey on other sapients like most manticores.manticores.
*** The arc ''Illuminations'' seem to imply that the term "monster" was originally used to refer purely to creatures who have no medallions (and in a display of circular logic, those creatures were denied medallions on the basis of them being "nasty" or preying on other sapients).



** The author repeatedly noted that Michelle is a winged ''Grecian'' sphinx, while her father was a wingless ''Egyptian'' sphinx. [[spoiler: This actually became a point of interest in the chapter ''Illumination.'']]

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** The author repeatedly noted that Michelle is a winged ''Grecian'' sphinx, [[spoiler:''Grecian'' sphinx]], while her father was a wingless ''Egyptian'' [[spoiler:''Egyptian'' sphinx. [[spoiler: This actually became later becomes a point of interest in the chapter ''Illumination.'']]



** On two occasions, Michelle is also shown in completely human form save for her sphinx tail. One is a chapter cover, and the other appears to be her first midform, assumed unconsciously when she starts composing an e-mail in her sphinx form.

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** On two occasions, Michelle is also shown in completely human form save for her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] tail. One is a chapter cover, and the other appears to be her first midform, assumed unconsciously when she starts composing an e-mail in her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] form.



* PunnyName: Blanche Noir. Doubles as GratuitousFrench. The Lyons brothers are Nemean lions.

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* PunnyName: Blanche Noir. Doubles as GratuitousFrench. The Lyons Lyon brothers are Nemean lions.



** In [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/illumination-3-page-14/ this]] strip, Michelle shows herself to the elders that she is a sphinx... Madame U's reaction shot is her sitting there, because she had been established as blind earlier.

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** In [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/illumination-3-page-14/ this]] strip, Michelle shows herself to the elders that she is a sphinx...[[spoiler:sphinx]]... Madame U's reaction shot is her sitting there, because she had been established as blind earlier.



* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Invoked, lampshaded, and conversed. Michelle's lengthened neck in sphinx form is a particularly subtle example.

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* RequiredSecondaryPowers: Invoked, lampshaded, and conversed. Michelle's lengthened neck in sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] form is a particularly subtle example.



* SecretLegacy: The "Finn Family Curse" turns out to be just the visible aspect of a much deeper, hidden legacy: [[spoiler: guarding the mystical power source of the sphinx.]]

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* SecretLegacy: The "Finn Family Curse" turns out to be just the visible aspect of a much deeper, hidden legacy: [[spoiler: guarding the mystical power source of the sphinx.medallions.]]



--> "It's like they evolved for the ''sole purpose'' of ''messing with blokes.''"

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--> "It's '''Alec:''' It's like they evolved for the ''sole purpose'' of ''messing with blokes.''"''



* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: lampshaded by Michelle when she complains that learning to deal with six limbs (four legs, two wings, and nothing remotely resembling a hand) in her sphinx form has been a bit of a trial.

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* VertebrateWithExtraLimbs: lampshaded by Michelle when she complains that learning to deal with six limbs (four legs, two wings, and nothing remotely resembling a hand) in her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] form has been a bit of a trial.



* WelcomedToTheMasquerade: Humanity is filled with "Unturned" [[AllMythsAreTrue fantastic creatures]], who were descended from an ancestor who owned a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting human-disguise medallion]], and are covered by a semi-permanent version of the same spell that keeps them human all the time. Getting a medallion of their own [[IAmWho breaks the old spell and reveals their true species]]. For some (like [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent Jim]]), getting a medallion and being Turned is a normal part of growing up; for others (like [[RiddlingSphinx Michelle]]), it comes as a [[TomatoInTheMirror rude shock]].

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* WelcomedToTheMasquerade: Humanity is filled with "Unturned" [[AllMythsAreTrue fantastic creatures]], who were descended from an ancestor who owned a [[VoluntaryShapeshifting human-disguise medallion]], and are covered by a semi-permanent version of the same spell that keeps them human all the time. Getting a medallion of their own [[IAmWho breaks the old spell and reveals their true species]]. For some (like [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent Jim]]), getting a medallion and being Turned is a normal part of growing up; for others (like others, [[spoiler:like [[RiddlingSphinx Michelle]]), Michelle]],]] it comes as a [[TomatoInTheMirror rude shock]].
27th Sep '17 11:01:48 PM Watermist
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* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a sphinx himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.

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* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.



** [[spoiler: Later in ''Illumination'', it was revealed that the old family 'curse' isn't a curse, but rather a ''gift.'' Apparently, Jim has the [[ElementalPowers "magic of Earth"]], and Colin, [[ElementalPowers water, a "versatile element"]]. Unfortunately the Rakasha that bestowed the original blessing has been negligent in informing later generations,]]

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** [[spoiler: Later in ''Illumination'', it was revealed that the old family 'curse' isn't a curse, but rather a ''gift.'' Apparently, Jim has the [[ElementalPowers "magic of Earth"]], and Colin, [[ElementalPowers water, a "versatile element"]]. Unfortunately the Rakasha that bestowed the original blessing has been negligent in informing later generations,]]generations.]]



* CuteLittleFangs: Michelle in sphinx form, and also in human form as seen when she was yawning or eating.

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* CuteLittleFangs: Michelle in sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] form, and also in human form as seen when she was yawning or eating.



** Ike Sanford gets a lot of prejudice because he's half manticore. Worse, his own mother Lynn is a vicious bigot with no filter. [[spoiler: Ike's girlfriend Rhonda is determined to make Lynn's prejudice as self-punishing as possible, hence the title of the side-story "kill them with kindness".]]

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** Ike Sanford gets a lot of prejudice because he's half manticore. Worse, his own mother Lynn is a vicious bigot with no filter. [[spoiler: Ike's girlfriend Rhonda is determined to make Lynn's prejudice as self-punishing as possible, hence the title of the side-story "kill them with kindness".''Kill Them With Kindness''.]]



** When Michelle misidentifies Marshall the spirit raven as a crow he replies "Crows are filthy animals."
** Leah Tanno is Japanese, but as her gryphon form combines two North American animals (red-tailed hawk and bobcat) her gryphon ancestor (who could have been dozens of generations of "false humans" back) must have been a gaijin. While she hasn't complained about overt discrimination back home she still moved to England because [[InternalizedCategorism she never felt like she fit in back in Japan]].

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** When Michelle misidentifies Marshall the spirit raven as a crow he replies replies, "Crows are filthy animals."
** Leah Tanno is Japanese, but as her gryphon form combines two North American animals (red-tailed hawk and bobcat) bobcat), her gryphon ancestor (who could have been dozens of generations of "false humans" back) must have been a gaijin. While she hasn't complained about overt discrimination back home she still moved to England because [[InternalizedCategorism she never felt like she fit in back in Japan]].



* FreudianExcuse: Jim hints he developed his flippant, irreverent and excentric attitude to compensate for all the teasing the "Finn Curse" brought him as a child.
* FromACertainPointOfView: Jim tells Eustace Michelle is a winged lion, a lie that he hopes contains enough of the truth to be believable [[spoiler: it isn't.]]

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* FreudianExcuse: Jim hints he developed his flippant, irreverent irreverent, and excentric eccentric attitude to compensate for all the teasing the "Finn Curse" brought him as a child.
* FromACertainPointOfView: Jim tells Eustace Michelle is a winged lion, a lie that he hopes contains enough of the truth to be believable believable. [[spoiler: it It isn't.]]



* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Pay close attention to the background events. They're frequently (though not always) funny in the present, sometimes funny in retrospect but always significant. New characters typically appear somewhere in the background before they are introduced in the story. Michelle's first visit to their local Avalon in issue four has good examples of both along with some Funny Foreground Events of Greg and Miriel shopping while Jim quizzes Eustace about the Momo.

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* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Pay close attention to the background events. They're frequently (though not always) funny in the present, sometimes funny in retrospect but always significant. New characters typically appear somewhere in the background before they are introduced in the story. Michelle's first visit to their local Avalon in issue four has good examples of both along with some Funny Foreground Events of Greg and Miriel Meriel shopping while Jim quizzes Eustace about the Momo.



* GodivaHair: Merial in her full nixie form

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* GodivaHair: Merial in her full nixie formform.



* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: The subject as a whole gets pointed out at various times throughout the comic. Michelle, for example, is fully aware that her sphinx form lacks pants.

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* HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: The subject as a whole gets pointed out at various times throughout the comic. Michelle, for example, is fully aware that her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] form lacks pants.



* HiddenElfVillage: The Avalons, places where mythologics walk around openly. They range from remote villages like Wonderland, to single shops like the Southwest Missouri Avalon, to concealed neighborhoods like the Liverpool Avalon (which is housed in the empty shell of a huge warehouse.)

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* HiddenElfVillage: The Avalons, places where mythologics mythological beings walk around openly. They range from remote villages like Wonderland, to single shops like the Southwest Missouri Avalon, to concealed neighborhoods like the Liverpool Avalon (which is housed in the empty shell of a huge warehouse.)



* HowDoIShotWeb: Michelle reportedly has supernatural powers as a sphinx, but [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-12-parental-support/ doesn't know]] how to consciously access and use them. Then there's her first [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/korybing/skindeep/series.php?view=single&ID=88472/ flying lesson...]]
* InsistentTerminology: It's "pterippi", not "pegasus", thank you very much. Calling all winged horses Pegasus would be like calling all humans "Adam".
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Michelle is [[TheLastOfHisKind the last sphinx]] and potentially has enormous powers...that she cannot currently use except in dire emergency. All of this makes her a target for Angels, Demons, Dragons, and anyone else who might have an agenda or a hand in the Spinx and dragons' mutual genocide. So far "target" is the only thing she understands.

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* HowDoIShotWeb: Michelle reportedly has supernatural powers as a sphinx, [[spoiler:sphinx]], but [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-12-parental-support/ doesn't know]] how to consciously access and use them. Then there's her first [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/korybing/skindeep/series.php?view=single&ID=88472/ flying lesson...]]
* InsistentTerminology: It's "pterippi", ''pterippi'', not "pegasus", ''pegasus'', thank you very much. Calling all winged horses Pegasus would be like calling all humans "Adam".
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Michelle is [[spoiler:the [[TheLastOfHisKind the last sphinx]] sphinx]],]] and potentially has enormous powers...powers... that she cannot currently use except in dire emergency. All of this makes her a target for Angels, Demons, Dragons, and anyone else who might have an agenda or a hand in the Spinx [[spoiler: sphinx and dragons' mutual genocide.genocide]] in the Great War. So far "target" is the only thing she understands.



* ItRunsInTheFamily: The Finn's heroic ancestor Phineas the Red appears in a flashback arc. Turns out he's flippant, lackadaisical and frequently irritating -- just like Jim.

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* ItRunsInTheFamily: The Finn's heroic ancestor Phineas the Red appears in a flashback arc. Turns out he's flippant, lackadaisical lackadaisical, and frequently irritating -- just like Jim.



** Jim can be a bit of a self-centered dick and people would probably hate him if he wasn't also endearingly goofy and extremely charming. He also leaped to defend his friends against a monster, a demon and a dragon without hesitation and he bought Michelle some of Eustace's (implied to be expensive) magic earrings to help keep her safe.

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** Jim can be a bit of a self-centered dick and people would probably hate him if he wasn't also endearingly goofy and extremely charming. He also leaped to defend his friends against a monster, a demon demon, and a dragon without hesitation and he bought Michelle some of Eustace's (implied to be expensive) magic earrings to help keep her safe.



** To put a few examples: A griffin leaps at him? It's soon defeated. A satyr staggers him with a headbutt? [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu He nearly broke his neck doing so]]! [[KillItWithWater Drown him]]? [[DeathisCheap It's simply resuscitated]]...[[spoiler: He turns out to be unkillable because he's already dead. The demon brothers fear retribution for killing him to use as an undead weapon.]]

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** To put a few examples: A griffin leaps at him? It's soon defeated. A satyr staggers him with a headbutt? [[BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu He nearly broke his neck doing so]]! [[KillItWithWater Drown him]]? [[DeathisCheap It's simply resuscitated]]...[[spoiler: He turns out to be unkillable because he's already dead.''already dead''. The demon brothers fear retribution for killing him to use as an undead weapon.]]



* HybridOverkillAvoidance: Beings of nearly any species can have children together, using medallions if necessary, but unless strong non-medallion magic is involved the children will simply be one species or the other. Ike is the exception that proves the rule as he is clearly a mixed-breed monster but only inherited a (mostly) compatible subset of Buggane and Manticore features.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Michelle starts out with this attitude, unsurprisingly, though it soon becomes "I just want to be normal, but flying is cool". Jim eventually lectures her (while flying) that it all depends upon your definition of "normal", and Michelle would be much happier if she stopped trying to draw an artificial line between her sphinx and human lives.

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** [[spoiler:It's implied that this happens because of some serious magical mix-up. Messing around with spells is a ''bad idea''.]]
* HybridOverkillAvoidance: Beings of nearly any species can have children together, using medallions if necessary, but unless strong non-medallion magic is involved involved, the children will simply be one species or the other. Ike is the exception that proves the rule as he is clearly a mixed-breed monster but only inherited a (mostly) compatible subset of Buggane and Manticore features.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Michelle starts out with this attitude, unsurprisingly, though it soon becomes "I just want to be normal, but flying is cool". Jim eventually lectures her (while flying) that it all depends upon your definition of "normal", and Michelle would be much happier if she stopped trying to draw an artificial line between her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx]] and human lives.



* MagicPants: Clothes get magically "stored" somewhere whenever one of the Masquerade assumes their fully mythical form. So far Michelle's shirt has been the only exception, as it does not disappear in full form. (she has yet to develop a midform) so she has to wear a shirt cut to accommodate her wings. Eyeglasses seem to work inconsistently too: Merial discards hers when she transforms, but Jim's father's get stored along with his clothes. According to WordOfGod different types of medallions offer different levels of MagicPants because the spells vary, each medallion is hand crafted, and older medallions tend to use wilder magic whereas newer medallions have more refined but less powerful spells.
** Michelle finally displays true magic pants in Illuminations Chapter 2: her pants disappear when she enters her full form and reappear as part of her her first true mid-form, which is essentially her human form with her sphinx form's wings, paws and neck. It's still just her pants, though: her shirt appears unaffected, though.

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* MagicPants: Clothes get magically "stored" somewhere whenever one of the Masquerade assumes their fully mythical form. So far Michelle's shirt has been the only exception, as it does not disappear in full form. (she form (as she has yet to develop a midform) midform), so she has to wear a shirt cut to accommodate her wings. Eyeglasses seem to work inconsistently too: Merial discards hers when she transforms, but Jim's father's get stored along with his clothes. According to WordOfGod different types of medallions offer different levels of MagicPants because the spells vary, each medallion is hand crafted, and older medallions tend to use wilder magic whereas newer medallions have more refined but less powerful spells.
** Michelle finally displays true magic pants in Illuminations ''Illuminations'' Chapter 2: her pants disappear when she enters her full form and reappear as part of her her first true mid-form, which is essentially her human form with her sphinx [[spoiler:sphinx form's wings, paws and neck.neck]]. It's still just her pants, though: her shirt appears unaffected, though.



* MeaningfulName: Implied to be the case in-universe; the Rakasha that they met was ''absolutely delighted'' to discover that [[spoiler:the female sphinx Jocasta's name had survived '''centuries''' and passed down to Michelle]]. The way he spoke about the name, it seems that there ''might'' be something important about the Jocasta family name.



** It's not that the demonic Grimm Brothers don't want to be evil, they just don't tend to be very good at it. Mikhail in particular is so hapless he almost crosses over into IneffectualSympatheticVillain territory

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** It's not that the demonic Grimm Brothers don't want to be evil, they just don't tend to be very good at it. Mikhail in particular is so hapless he almost crosses over into IneffectualSympatheticVillain territoryterritory.



* MistakenForGay: Blanche, by pretty much everybody. It really bugs him when he hears this from his best friend Tony, who's the one person Blanche figures should know better
* MonogenderMonsters: some species (like Harpies) tend to be all of one sex or another.

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* MistakenForGay: Blanche, by pretty much everybody. It really bugs him when he hears this from his best friend Tony, who's the one person Blanche figures should know better
better.
* MonogenderMonsters: some species (like Harpies) Some species, like Harpies or Satyrs, tend to be all of one sex or another.



* MundaneUtility: mythical abilities and powers are frequently treated like labor saving devices or home appliances.

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* MundaneUtility: mythical Mythical abilities and powers are frequently treated like labor saving devices or home appliances.
27th Sep '17 10:43:57 PM Watermist
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* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a sphinx himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle's initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.

to:

* ChangelingFantasy: Kinda-sorta. Michelle's father was apparently a sphinx himself, though neither of them were aware of it. Michelle's Michelle initially [[IJustWantToBeNormal just wants to be normal]] instead of embracing the fantastic weirdness she's been thrown into--though she does think being able to fly is kinda cool. Her mother's acceptance does a lot to ease her mind on this score.



** Jim mentions that his mom tells a version of The Great War where a family of Sphinxes escaped.

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** Jim mentions that his mom tells a version of The Great War where [[spoiler:where a family of Sphinxes escaped.escaped]].
27th Sep '17 10:41:36 PM Watermist
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** [[spoiler:Subverted in "Illumination." Not only do we learn that the Sphinxes invented (and made) the medallions, we also find out ''how'' they were made -- the Sphinxes cast a spell that binds to the hard object (it doesn't have to be metal. It just has to be "long-lasting" and "hardy").]]
3rd Jul '17 1:56:53 PM Nicoaln
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** In the past, it's shown that Nemean Lions were targets of this as well...


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* LampshadeHanging: Michelle at one point gets annoyed at being given vague hints about what she needs to look for next, referring to it as "Point and click nonsense"


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* RealityEnsues:
** In [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/illumination-3-page-14/ this]] strip, Michelle shows herself to the elders that she is a sphinx... Madame U's reaction shot is her sitting there, because she had been established as blind earlier.
** Ravi reveals [[spoiler: that the Finn curse was a gift he put in that enables some people in the line to use magic]] and then [[spoiler: criticises the family for being unaware that it was a gift and was more of a CursedWithAwesome, then lectures them as if they are children for not properly comprehending what he tasked Phineas's line with centuries ago]]. Naturally, the family gets ''quite'' annoyed with this and respond ''exactly'' the way you would expect them to in that situation.
30th May '17 4:48:16 PM maddthesane
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* GenreSavvy: [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-3-open-the-door/ When Michelle express reluctance to tell her mother her secret as a mythical creature]], Greg convinces her to do that anyway, pointing out that her mother out likely figure it out by herself and, if she tried to keep it a secret any further, that will likely only hurt her mother more.

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* GenreSavvy: [[http://www.skindeepcomic.com/archive/homecoming-3-open-the-door/ When Michelle express reluctance to tell her mother her secret as a mythical creature]], Greg convinces her to do that anyway, pointing out that her mother out will likely figure it out by herself and, if she tried to keep it a secret any further, that will likely only hurt her mother more.



* HeroOfAnotherStory: the ''Exchanges'' arc runs on this trope as the POV shifts to follow a new group of characters every time their paths intersect.

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* HeroOfAnotherStory: the The ''Exchanges'' arc runs on this trope as the POV shifts to follow a new group of characters every time their paths intersect.
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