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Webcomic: The Young Protectors
Superhero. Supervillain. It's complicated.
— Banner ad for The Young Protectors, featuring Kyle and the Annihilator

A multi-chapter superhero webcomic by author Alex Woolfson and artists Adam DeKraker [line artist] and Veronica Gandini [colorist]. It can be found here. As of now, the prologue and first two chapters are complete. Somewhat NSFW at times, though usually nothing gratuitous.

Woolfson is also the author of the now finished webcomic Artifice.


This Work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted with Kyle. (Explained under Celibate Hero and Blessed with Suck)
  • Affably Evil: Annihilator.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The way that Annihilator is presented. One one hand, he is a known supervillain (whose alias doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his benevolence) and doesn't seem to have a problem with manipulation. On the other, his evilness is (so far) an Informed Attribute; at worst, he's played some mind games. He's not so ambiguous now as of the latter half of Chapter 2.
    • Also, the Platinum Priestess. So far the only strikes against her is that she is on good terms with Annihilator and that Spooky Jones hasn't said anything good about her. Again, that changes radically by the end of chapter 2 with the whole "selling the Earth to the powers of hell" thing.
    • And despite the whole "bargain with hell" thing, both may be leaning back in the middle of chapter 3, as they seem to doing it to gain power to repair the walls of reality. We're probably not gonna know until the very end which side they're on.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Spooky to Kyle: "If you could do anything, right now, what would you do?"
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: When Annihilator is out of costume.
  • Big Entrance:
    Kyle: The PLATINUM PRIESTESS!
  • Big Red Devil: Laampros seems to be one.
  • Biggus Dickus: Several readers have noted Laampros's shadowed crotch bears a very... intimidating, distinct outline. He IS apparently a demon, after all.
  • Blackmail: Annihilator to Kyle.
  • Blessed with Suck:
  • Bridal Carry: Here. Kyle even comments that it feels "[A] bit, uh...Lois Lane".
  • Buffy Speak: Kyle refers to the Crisis of Collided Trans-World Identities as "Calamity of Infinite Super-whatsit Thing".
  • Bury Your Gays: Will be deliberately averted, according to Word of God. You can read Alex's (somewhat spoilery) comments regarding the subject on this page.
  • Celibate Hero: Kyle up until recently. His fire powers are augmented by his emotions, which includes orgasm. After burning down his foster parents' home after his first date with Rosie Palms as a kid, he swore never to experience that pleasure, even with himself, again.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The Platinum Priestess wears an armor-type one.
  • Civvie Spandex: Spooky Jones and, to a lesser extent, Flyboy.
  • Cliff Hanger: This page, which just so happens to be taking place on the edge of a cliff.
    Alex: Oh, trés meta, Writer Boy. I see what you’re doing there...
  • Compensating for Something: The Annihilator admits that his supervillain moniker sounds like he's compensating for something.
    • If Kyle's reaction to seeing Annihilator naked and aroused is any indication, though, this is pretty thoroughly averted.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Kyle, twice actually, once before he realized his powers, by his original parents for an undisclosed reason, and then after he burned down the house with his fire powers, he was abandoned by his foster parents.
  • Cool Gate / Portal Door: One of the Platinum Priestess's powers.
  • Cool Car: Spooky Jones's red 1969 Pontiac Firebird convertible (seen here).
  • Curtains Match the Window: The Platinum Priestess has, fittingly, platinum-colored hair and eyes.
  • Dangerous Eighteenth Birthday: According to the Annihilator, superheroes under the age of eighteen are off limits to supervillains, a policy enforced by himself among others. Kyle learns this on his eighteenth birthday, and takes it as a warning that his protection has expired. He's right.
    • Spooky later on states that birthdays carry magical powers that can be taken advantage of using certain spells. Spooky himself was transported to Hell on his thirteenth birthday and spent a year there before he somehow managed to get out.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kyle's backstory on the discovery of his fire powers is both tragic and humiliating.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Platinum Priestess and The Commander both have their moments.
  • Emotional Powers: Kyle's fire powers are linked to his emotions ... including orgasm.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even the bad guys have rules. And one of the is that no one messes with children. At least that's what Anni says.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Of the "sick and twisted sense of humor" variety, though fairly minor. When Kyle reveals the first time he discovered he could play with fire was during A Date with Rosie Palms that caused him to accidentally burn down his foster parents' house, Annihilator laughs. Quickly subverted, however, when Annihilator realizes Kyle isn't exaggerating, and in fact gravely hurt his foster sister and was abandoned by his foster parents after the incident.
  • Flat "What.": The Annihilator's response to being hurled across a room into a wall hard enough to leave a small crater is just a genuinely perplexed "What?"
  • Fore Shadowing: Kyle's very first line (before we know anything about him or even his name) is, "Oh, to hell with it". Then chapter two rolls around, and the statement has become literal.
  • Gay Bar: Annihilator spots Kyle in one and threatens to out him if he doesn't do what he says.
  • Gayngster: The Annihilator. Maybe. It's still not entirely clear whether he's gay or just faking it.
  • Hidden Depths: Annihilator is hinted to have this.
  • Honey Trap: Annihilator seduced Kyle with the purpose of using him as a sacrifice to get into Laampros' realm. He mentions that if Kyle had been straight Platinum Priestess would have done the seducing instead.
  • Immortality Seeker: The Annihilator and Platinum Priestess. They opened a door into Laampros' realm in the hopes that he would grant them immortality in exchange for passage into the human world.
  • Incoming Ham:
    Killer: So sorry to interrupt your brunch date, but we're here to kick your ass.
  • Invisibility: When their first date goes wrong, Kyle is turned invisible.
  • Invisible Streaker: As a result of the above - Kyle's invisible, but his clothes aren't. Cue him frantically shucking clothes as he escapes.
  • Instant Sedation: With magic dust thrown on Kyle's face. Only momentarily though.
  • It's All About Me: Annihilator claims this is the reason he's evil, but he doesn't seem too sure of it, and he does sort-of apologize to Kyle after using him to open a gate to Laampros' realm, saying he deserves better.
  • Jail Bait Wait: Not that Anni has to wait very long.
  • Knight Templar: Two rather violent heroes attacked the Annihilator and used brutal force on Kyle (who they thought was the Invisible Man).
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Though initially immune to Kyle's fire powers, Annihilator learns the hard way not to piss him off as Kyle's anger causes his powers to grow strong enough to severely burn his arm.
  • Love at First Sight: Kyle and Duncan's romance is very abrupt, one encounter in a shady alley and a date in Hong Kong and the Annihilator is already telling Kyle being with him makes him want to try and be a better person, and Kyle, a previously Celibate Hero, is asking Duncan to be his first the night of his eighteenth birthday.
    • Invoked and Subverted. Whatever Annihilator's feelings Kyle, his primary interest is in Kyle's unique power.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Kyle is Laampros's son.
  • May-December Romance: Annihilator (58) and Kyle (17, going on 18) seem to be heading to one of these... until Chapter 2.
  • Mundane Utility: The Platinum Priestess uses her magic to get Kyle dressed for a date.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Annihilator. So far though, he doesn't seem so bad... Though this quickly becomes a lot murkier once Chapter 2 rolls around.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Hunter and Killer, the vigilantes who show up to fight Annihilator in Hong Kong. They're cocky Jerkasses who don't care about collateral damage in the service of their work.
  • Occult Detective: According to Word of God, "[Spooky's] work outside of The Young Protectors does involve what are essentially 'occult investigations'."
  • Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...: In an interlude chapter, the team finds out they have some very creative fans online. Tsunami is disgusted, Fluke finds it hilarious, and Spooks is offended... that he's not the one on top.
  • Painting the Medium: One is left wondering exactly how Kyle said "PLATINUM PRIESTESS" to make it appear in huge silver block letters.
    • And before that, the first time he said "THE ANNIHILATOR".
    • The prequel bonus comic ends with Spooky introducing himself: "The name is Jones. SPOOKY JONES".
      Alex: You really didn’t think only the bad guys would get special fonts for their names, did you?
  • Parental Abandonment: After his powers manifested and he accidentally burned down their home and scarred their child, Kyle's foster parents couldn't even look him in the eye anymore.
  • Playing with Fire: Kyle
  • Porn Names: Kyle, a.k.a. Red Hot, admits his superhero name is this, but in his defense he chose it when he was 12, based on his childhood nickname of 'Red' and the fact he had fire powers.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis! / Punctuated Pounding: DON'T! *Punch* BE A! *Punch* DICK! *Punch*
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Not only Annihilator can use real puppy eyes, the author ironically refers to a somewhat creepy look as this.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Platinum Priestess is over six thousand years old.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Kyle
  • Secret Identity:
    • Everybody's quite liberal with them, with Kyle calling Fluke "Paul" in public and the Annihilator calling the Platinum Priestess "Sircea" in front of a hero. The Annihilator also has no problem at all revealing his name to Kyle.
    • According to the Annihilator, the names of Kyle's teammates are an Open Secret to both the other heroes and villains alike.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: A very mild one; the Annihilator only demands a kiss in exchange for keeping Kyle's secret. Then we find out that he would have kept Kyle's secret anyway.
  • Scenery Censor: During his battle in the market place Kyle has somehow gotten completely naked while being invisible and fighting his enemy... all without showing his cash'n'prizes.
  • Sensible Heroine, Skimpy Villainess: Compare The Commander with The Platinum Priestess.
  • Shipper on Deck: It seems like the Platinum Priestess seems to ship Kyle/Annihilator.
  • Shout-Out: A movie theater is showing Artifice 2, a reference to another one of Woolfson's comics.
  • Six Token Band: The Young Protectors:
    • The Commander, a Native American female
    • Spooky Jones, a Chinese male
    • Red Hot, a (closet gay) ginger Caucasian male
    • Tsunami, a Samoan male
    • Flyboy, another Caucasian male
    • Fluke, an African American male.
  • Stealth Pun: Kyle is gay and has fire powers, making him literally a flaming homosexual.
  • Straight Gay: Kyle
  • Superpower Lottery: There's a reason Annihilator is one of the most feared supervillains around:
  • That Came Out Wrong: Kyle's consent to going out on a date with Annihilator is under the pretense that Annihilator doesn't just plan to 'screw with him all night'. The Platinum Priestess is quick to jump on this, in that if that's Kyle's limitation, it sort of defeats the purpose of a date.
  • Visual Pun: Kyle is ginger with flame powers making him literally a "fiery redhead". He doesn't count as a true Fiery Redhead because we haven't seen him lose his temper yet.
    • Confirmed and Justified during the date in Hong kong; Pummeling an anti-hero while yelling at him not to be a dick.
    • The 'activities' on Kyle's 18th birthday were apparently so good that it literally blew his socks off.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 2.
  • Wham Line:
    • Annihilator: "LAAMPROS BA SUKOTH BA SUGGROTH!"
    • Laampros: "My darling son."
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Complete with a Shout-Out to Disney.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: According to Spooky, Laampros would never lie about Kyle being his son. It's a matter of pride.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Kyle's flame abilities aren't a mutation, nor do they come from magic or alien interference. Turns out he's the offspring of a king of Hell.
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