Recap / Penny And Aggie Parents Nightmare

"I want you to grow strong, stand tall. I want you to fear nothing. But... not just yet, okay?"
— Nick

This brief arc opens with various characters telling an unseen narrator about their plans for spring break. Aggie's plan is to sneak off to Baghdad and protest for peace. Duane tries to stop her, but fails, and in short order an insurgent fatally shoots her. As Aggie pleads that her story be told, the scene cuts to Nick bolting upright in bed. Watching his daughter sleep, he reflects on the teenage boy who had recently done a similar thing (see below), and silently implores her to wait until she's forty before taking a risk like that.


  • Adult Fear: Nick fears that Aggie's Soapbox Sadie approach to activism, if taken too far, could endanger her life.
  • All Just a Dream: Hence the arc title. Campbell himself later acknowledged the strangeness of Nick's dream beginning with a narrative prologue featuring teenagers he didn't know.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: A non-romantic, parent-child example.
  • Catapult Nightmare
  • Famous Last Words: "Tell MSNBC... myyy... storyyyyyyy..."
  • In-Joke: When Duane tries to dissuade Aggie from her trip, he warns her that she'll be killed because she looks "vaguely Israeli." Aggie's response: "I always thought I looked more French-Canadian." This is a reference to founding artist Gisèle Lagacé, who is French-Canadian (and who gave both title characters French surnames despite the comic's American setting).
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: That of Florida teenager Farris Hassan who in December 2005 (about five months before this arc ran) flew to Iraq, without his parents' permission, in order to do research and humanitarian work. (He returned home safely.)