A Mind Screw
webcomic about a living flying superpowered sex doll
who ends up saving the multiverse. Or something.
Well, that's the short version.Pastel Defender Heliotrope
by Jennifer Diane Reitz is what happens when you cross Unicorn Jelly
(to which it is a sequel) with cute art that would look in place in a children's book, with an (eventually) even more convoluted plot than the original. It starts in a bizarre alien universe called Pastel, where humans have adapted to life with the help of Green Rocks
called Chatoyanite, with a dysfunctional scientist covertly
buying a sex doll. Said scientist, Dr. Ranse Aoi, is involved in alternate universe research, and one day, in drunken haze, accidentally sticks a piece of Imported Alien Phlebotinum
from one of the alternate universes into the doll, bringing her to life — though at first he has trouble accepting that, thinking of her as just a clever machine.
From there on, Heliotrope begins a quest for identity and finding out her origins, during which she falls in love with a young girl named Fuschia [sic]
, who was kicked out of her home by her homophobic parents. There's also lots of time travel and cross-universe travel involved. And Mind Screw
. Lots and lots of Mind Screw
. The ending in particular makes the finales of Neon Genesis Evangelion
and BioShock Infinite
look sane and tidy in comparison.
This webcomic provides examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: People with names like Teal, Yellow and Cerul live side by side with Ranse Aoi and Meiun Nakimono. This is intentional, as explained later.
- All There in the Manual: The setting is very detailed, with long side notes detailing the various universes and their fictional science, though most of them are not essential to understanding the story.
- And Man Grew Proud: The true history of humans before their arrival on Pastel is largely forgotten, kept only inside hidden artifacts of Lost Technology. In fact, readers of Unicorn Jelly will realize that the beliefs of the Church of Godan are a fictionalized account of the destruction of Myrmil, which started the Stormfall in Tryslmaistan.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The protagonists and people closest to them ultimately live on as uploaded minds in a posthuman singularity.
- Bizarrchitecture: Pastel, Tryslmaistan, and Ktlikitkaktl all feature different examples.
- Bland-Name Product: Chartreuse works at C-Mart, and CURSOR plays its antique console fighting game on an "ActiVandals" system.
- Came Back Strong: Fuschia-CURSOR's new body after her revival.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Like its predecessor, this is intentional. The story starts simple enough...
- Continuity Nod: Lots of these for readers of Unicorn Jelly. Starting from, of course, the appearance of Tryslmaistan in PDH and constant references to its history, to small blink-and-you'll-miss-it details, like the appearance of Kay-Wai in the sex shop, Chou's head and a triangular worldplate in CURSOR's theater, CURSOR itself having its original appearance based on Kay-Wai, and the crystals on OoO's avatar, also a reference to Chou. To Save Her reveals that OoO is actually a post-singularity ascended Chou.
- Corrupt Church: Mostly an obvious caricature of Christian fundamentalism with some Islamic overtones, with rampant homophobia, sexism, and hypocritical clergy that actually knows that their deity, Godan, was a human scientist, but hides that knowledge to exploit the population.
- Cosmic Horror: Ktlikitkaktl, a living universe that feeds on other universes.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Godanism.
- Flying Brick: Heliotrope's basic powers. There are more.
- Green Rocks: Chatoyanite, coming in multiple color varieties that power most technology in Pastel.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: The Omnipitors.
- Limited Wardrobe: Discussed in Fuschia's case.
Why is Fuschia wearing her pink dress again? She really doesn't have that much in the way of clothing. Since being kicked out of her house by her mother, she has been just trying to survive, and it hasn't been easy. So be nice to her...she can't help not having more outfits to wear.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Heliotrope (full name Heliotrope Security Aoi) picks up her name from her "father"'s incoherent drunk ramblings. It fits the Theme Naming, though.
- Dr. Aoi names the Omnipitor on the spot because he needed some kind of name for the alien artifact he and Dr. Nakimono picked up. However, later on it turns out that even the Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who created the Omnipitors in the first place call them that too, at least when talking to the Pastellians.
- Meaningful Name:
- Theo's full name is based on the religious concept of theodicy.
- "Nakimono" is Japanese for "dead person". Except he survives, as revealed much later.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The protagonist is a superpowered lesbian sex doll animated by Lost Technology from Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
- Screw You, Elves!: Fuschia-CURSOR takes no crap from post-singularity beings and calls them out for their "high and mighty" manipulation of "lesser" races.
- The Singularity: The future (or present, it's complicated) of Tryslmaistan, CURSOR's home universe.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Tryslmaistan's current inhabitants.
- Stable Time Loop: One of these, of epic proportions, created the entire universe where most of the story takes place, as well as the Cosmic Horror.
- Theme Naming: Most humans in Pastel are named after colors, with some exceptions (see Aerith and Bob before).
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The last two chapters are best described as this.
- Touched by Vorlons: Fuschia after merging with CURSOR.
- The Unpronounceable: Go on, try to pronounce "Tryslmaistan", "Ktlikitkaktl", or "Burangidaeni". Also an in-universe example with OoO: these letters are actually an approximation of an unpronounceable symbol that this entity is called in speech bubbles.
- Unusual Euphemism: All swear words in this comic are made up, often with narmtastic results. "Majumdered", "kshetka", etc.
- Unwanted Rescue: Chartreuse is pissed at Heliotrope saving her from a suicide attempt.