The titular character.Modest Medusa
is a webcomic written by Jake Richmond and featured on Drunk Duck
, although it got its own website
on July 29, 2011.
On the night before Christmas, Jake comes home and finds that the toilet has overflowed and flooded his bedroom. While moving his stuff to a different room, he finds a gorgon child hiding in the closet. Because she cannot return to the land she came from, Jake and his niece Marah have to take care of her.
The comic starts here
Tropes featured in this webcomic:
- Abusive Parents: Medusa's mother. She's introduced devouring her daughters — and from the terrified reactions of the other Medusas, she does this all the time.
- Achievements in Ignorance: When Medusa's snake hair is used to break open Jake's shackles, Jake wonders how that even works. Medusa's response?
"Why wouldn't it work?"
- Alpha Bitch: The mermaids
- Apologetic Attacker: Medusa, when her hair snakes' venom petrifies a mermaid.
- Art Evolution: Enforced: The author began taking the comic's art seriously following some criticisms weeks before.
- Artistic License – Biology: The snakes of Modest Medusa's mom are HUGE. She normally shouldn't be able to keep her head straight.
- Author Avatar: Jake
- Badass: Urano, a Black Knight who shows up out of nowhere and decapitates the ghost with a battleaxe.
- Bacon Addiction: Even the Medusa's hair-snakes agree— everything is better with bacon!
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: When the Medusa has to tell Emergency Services about the Chainsaw-corn incident, she is asked to start from the beginning. She assumes that they meant the start of her life.
- Big "WHAT?!": Medusa's response to being called a raccoon.
- Bittersweet Ending: "Home". Marah dies after realizing she couldn't have gone home again anyway, but she manages to save her uncle and Medusa by winning her duel with the Prince, and we see the Drudge Angel taking her off to Heaven.
- Blank White Eyes: The reaction of some characters when they first see the medusa.
- Bond One-Liner: Marah seems to be attempting them with increasing frequency, all in a similar vein...
Marah: I've got a sword I'll stick so far up your butt, everyone will call you "Sword Butt"!
Marah: Why don't you save [the cash] so you can buy a new butt? 'Cause your old one won't work so well after I kick the crap out of it!
- Brand X: Mostly Averted, the products. From Chocodiles to Arizona Greentea, the food products are real. Portal and Pokémon have also been mentioned, and even played. Jake even said Reshiram looks like a space chicken.
- Catapult Nightmare: Jake has one that signals that things are about to go downhill.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Lampshaded in strip #156.
- Chainsaw Good: The unicorn sent after the Medusa has a chainsaw for a horn.
- Called "The Knight of Chains", he may be unkillable.
- Character Title
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jake. He's an all-around geek and bit of a loser, but damn, can he hold his own against chainsaw-unicorn!
- According to Word of God, this was done as a Take That at a reviewer who accused Jake of being a Marty Stu because he was an Author Avatar. So he did this to show what a Marty Stu was really like.
- The hair snakes. Sure, they may not talk much and they will eat anything, but if you threaten the Medusa, they will deal with you.
- Cthul Humanoid: the Ghost
- Cute Monster Girl: The Medusa.
- Discount Lesbians: Despite apparently being five years old, the Medusa giggled when reading an issue Jake's Playboy Magazine. Don't forget that her freakin' hair has been caught staring at a mermaid's chest.
- Dramatic Irony: When Medusa tells her mother "I love you, but I will never be like you," her mother cries. Not just because of the note, but because she knows that Medusa will one day be just like her, and that her efforts to avoid it happening will likely be just as futile as hers were.
- Emergency Transformation: The boy who lives with Gorgon. After staying to long in Yeld, he begins to turn into a monster. Gorgon turns him into a horse instead.
- By accepting Urano's title. Marah ends up turning into a vampire.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Medusa's mother does love her. When she reads her final note, she cries.
- Extreme Omnivore: The hair snakes may not eat much, but what they do eat, they usually shouldn't.
- Eye Scream: Marah gouges out one of the mermaids eye's with a kitchen knife.
- Facepalm: Jake does it a lot.
- Fan Nickname: One of Medusa's hair snakes has been dubbed Sneaky Snake because it tends to eat things Medusa's holding before she has time to react.
- Fisher Kingdom: "In my kingdom, everything good and pure becomes a monster eventually"
- Foreshadowing: The green mermaid's curse, after Marah gores out her eye and her friend turns to stone after being bitten by Medusa's hair.
" You ruiner! I hope everything you love goes bad! I hope your mother eats you! And I hope your friend never gets to go home again!"
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Both of the mermaids are cigarette smokers, and jerks. However, Marah's mother is pretty cool, despite also smoking them.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Urano dies saving Marah and Medusa from the vampire knights. Marah perishes in a duel with the Prince, letting her uncle and Medusa go home.
- Infant Immortality: Suddenly and disturbingly averted. At the beginning of Season 3, Medusa realizes she has hundreds of identical sisters...who are then devoured en masse by their mother. At the end of Season 3, Marah dies fighting the Prince of Yeld.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Medusa. She gets upset when she realizes she's the only one naked, but doesn't really comprehend what it means, and the matter is dropped after the Pokémon arc.
- Karma Houdini: The Prince gets away with absolutely everything. The only thing that ends up happening to him is that he gets a slightly bruised ego, but he's still the ruler of Yeld, so countless innocent people are going to be oppressed. Not to mention the whole killing Mara thing.
- Kick the Dog: The Prince was ready to go back on his word and throw Jake back into the dungeon and Medusa back to her mother even after Marah defeated him in their little duel. The sight of a Drudge Angel carrying her away causes him to reconsider.
- Knight of Cerebus: Everything's all funny and witty and then suddenly, chainsaw-unicorn!
- Limited Wardrobe: Mildly lampshaded here.
- Male Gaze: The Medusa's hair snakes fall victim to this. This is foreshadowing as to their evil nature.
- Medusa: Guess who. In an aversion to the standard portrayal, she's prepubescent, cute, but very socially awkward. And it's not her eyes that petrify things, it's her hair-snakes' venom. The medusa is actually the larval stage of a hydra. When they're young and cute, their human sides are in charge. But, as the snakes grow, the human part of them shrivels up and dies like an unneeded limb.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: The Green Mermaid when accepting an award.
- Murphy's Bed: Not knowing what the purpose of a toilet is, Medusa chose it as her bed. Cue both parties being shocked when Jake unknowingly pees on her.
- My Beloved Smother: The medusa's mother wanted her to come home so bad, she sent a chainsaw unicorn to slaughter her new friends.
- No Name Given: The medusa is only known as "the medusa" or, less often, "Medusa". This was only practical because she was the only medusa present... until she got back home and met her dozens of sisters, all of which were apparently named "Medusa", too. This is just in time for her mother to reveal her real name: Modest.
- Oh, Crap: One of the mermaids, when she realizes she's turning to stone.
- Medusa's sisters have a bigger one when they realize Modest has awakened their mother. And it's not played for laughs.
- Organ Autonomy: Modest's hair is made of four snakes that have minds of their own.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The mermaids from the medusa's backstory are real assholes.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Medusa's species (Yeld's equivalent of an hydra) life cycle and biology are kind of weird. To begin with, they share their intellect with their snakes. The human body deliberately invokes cuteness as a defense mechanism. As they grow up, it is progressively discarded for a giant snake body. In the process, hydras keep memories and sapience, but lose emotions and feelings. If they need a male partner or not to reproduce is not clear.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Urano is part of a band of vampire knights who rebelled against their general when the old king died, in an attempt to save the princess from imprisonment (an act that would give him the nickname "Oath Breaker"). He's unbothered by sunlight, but he doesn't sparkle. Marah becomes one herself after inheriting his power as the Oath Breaker.
- Planet of Steves: All the medusas except the main character are named "Medusa". Lampshaded here.
- Porn Stash: Gee, it almost looks like Jake doesn't want anyone to see what's in the box labeled 'XXX'...
- Power Incontinence: Medusa's hair snakes tend to act of their own volition and when their bites start to petrify a mermaid she doesn't know how to stop it.
- Psychopomps: Drudge Angels, like Valkyries, carry away the slain heroes of Yeld into the afterlife. Urano is led away by one once the force of the kingdom kill him. Marah is taken away next once the Prince kills her in their duel.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "You are...such...a huge...jerk!"
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Generally averted. Played straight with Medusa's mother snake hair. The eventual fate of all hydrae is to have their morals shrivel up and die with the rest of them, until only the snakes remain.
- Running Gag: Medusa's hair eating things she's holding. Lampshaded and subverted in this strip, where a hair snake steadfastly refuses to eat the ghost residue Medusa has.
- Schedule Slip: Quite often, for various reasons going from sickness to being busy at conventions or simply working on particularly hard/big post.
- Seashell Bra: The mermaids, of a particularly Stripperiffic variety.
- Shout-Out: To the first season finale of Heroes here.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Mara's death rivals the death of Gaia in terms of abruptness, pointlessness, unnecessary meanspiritedness, and serving absolutely no point other than shock value.
- Taken for Granite: The Medusa lacks her kind's trademark petrifying gaze. Her hair snakes' venom has that effect, though.
- Take Up My Sword: Urano of the Oathbreakers gives his title and charge to Marah in his dying breath.
- This however has the side effect of turning her into a vampire.
- Toilet Humor: It starts with Jake's toilet getting backed up thanks to the Medusa. And goes on from there.
- Tomboy: The Medusa quickly took a liking to video games. Jake's niece, Marah, seems to be one too.
- Too Dumb to Live: The mermaids managed to convince Medusa to come with them so what was the point of the net?
- Trademark Favorite Food: The Medusa loves chocodiles.
- Unicorn: With a chainsaw-horn, no less!
- Weirdness Censor: Marah's mother completely ignores the fact that the Medusa's, well, the Medusa.
- Was Once a Man: It's hinted that the chainsaw unicorn used to be a boy from our world who got trapped in Yeld.
- Wham Episode: The introduction of Medusa's mother.
- "The Kingdom Strikes Back". In rapid succession, Medusa's mother corners the heroes with both her chainsaw unicorn and vampire knights, Marah's weapon is destroyed, Urano, their strongest ally, dies, and Medusa willingly goes back to her mother to avoid anyone else being killed. Literally the only positive aspect of this arc is that Urano apparently transferred his power of the Oath Breaker to Marah just before he died.
- "Home". Marah fights the Prince in a duel to first blood. She manages to beat him moments before he all-but cuts her in half, killing her.
- Whole Episode Flashback: The "Wither away" arc.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: "A hydra can grow more powerful... can live forever... for a price."
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Marah, based on her experience with videogame and RPG depictions of vaguely medieval fantasy kingdoms, assumes that copper coins are the currency of Yeld. So she brings a bag of pennies, and is surprised when no one will accept them as payment.
- You Can Talk?: The Medusa. It is later revealed that she didn't talk at first because she was too scared of Jake.
Jake: I spent hours trying to communicate with you! I fed you an entire box of chocodiles! And you could talk the whole time?
- You Didn't Ask: After the medusa finds out the concept of clothes and nakedness. She actually slaps Jake for not telling her sooner. He counters he thought she knew.
- Yuri Fan: As seen here, the Medusa ships Korra and Asami.