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Webcomic / A Modest Destiny

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The first two panels of the first comic.
A Modest Destiny is a Pixel Art Comic by Sean "Squidi" Howard. Unlike sprite webcomics, the pixel art used in AMD is created by Squidi himself. This led to some copyright issues early in the comic's run with people using his intellectual property the same way people typically use sprites ripped from games. His reaction to this then-controversial event led to a lot of hatedom directed at Squidi.

The comic is also infamous for having been canceled, then uncanceled, then canceled, then uncanceled, then canceled yet again, then uncanceled. Squidi once said he would not finish it, as he didn't like the direction it had taken, but in a 2010 blog entry he claimed that he would be reviving it once again. The fourth chapter was concluded in 2011, and the fifth chapter was stated to be "coming one day". As of 2022, the comic remains an Orphaned Series.

The comic consists of four arcs which follow the adventures of Maxim, a young man seeking his fame and fortune by joining a guild. Thanks in no small part to his unusual heritage, he winds up saving the world. Not only once, but twice.

The comics themselves are well executed, with good characterization, genuinely funny moments, and, in spite of a sudden shift in mood halfway through, a remarkably consistent myth arc. Tropers will probably enjoy the occasional lampshade hung on various RPG and Fantasy cliches.

This webcomic provides examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Early strips used pixel art backgrounds, but arc 3 started using drawn backgrounds instead.
  • Badass Boast: When Crimson Blade attempts to stop a robbery. Subverted when Gilbert takes him down almost immediately without any difficulty.
    Crimson Blade: I am the terror that strikes at night! I am the sweat on your pillow after a nightmare! I am the darkness that your nightlight can't extinguish! I am the thing you see just out of the corner of your eye, but aren't sure if it is real or not! I burn with the light of righteousness! I am CRIMSON BLADE! In the name of JUSTICE, I will PUNISH YOU!
  • Big Bad: Gilbert in the first arc, the Black Knight in the overreaching plot.
  • Brick Joke: A running joke has the characters musing of how their sparse (see: Unlivable) conditions in their room, prison cell, etc, could use a throw pillow. Fluffy finally, thoughtfully delivers here.
  • Bungling Inventor: The professor. You know things are desperate if you're willing to strap on one of his gadgets.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jeebs. he's a bartender who happens to be an alien.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Although the series always had an overreaching plot, the jokes grow fewer and the situation gets grimmer as the series progresses. Word of God in the form of a self-critiquing blog entry says it is not because it was always planned to go in this direction, but by our definition it still counts.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The guy who's Team Evil exam Gilbert copied shows up later to help Jenny escape from Team Evil's dungeon.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Maxim learns the ancient art of controlling his shadow. This comes in handy in the final battle against the first arc's Big Bad when he's completely immobilized.
  • Darker and Edgier: Around the last part of arc two, the series becomes a great deal darker.
  • Evil Twin: Lampshaded in the prologue, where Maxim states that this was before it was fashionable to have an evil twin. Ultimately subverted when it turns out they aren't twins at all but rather Split at Birth and justified when we learn Gilbert is evil because he lacks a soul since Maxim stole it.
  • Grammar Correction Gag: This exchange between Maxim and Shadow:
    Maxim: You misspelled "Dismemberment".
    Shadow: Luckily, i'm better at doing it then spelling it...
    Maxim: Uh oh.
  • Grand Theft Me: Played with as a key plot point: following the final battle of the first arc, Maxim possesses Gilbert's empty body. This is deconstructed in the later episodes, as it reveals that his wife is secretly uncomfortable with this, worried that any children they have will be evil like Gilbert.
  • Groin Attack: This strip.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: An inversion with Hubert when it turns out that alcohol actually helps him recover after receiving serious injuries
  • I Call It "Vera": Maxim's initial weapon, the stick "Lucille".
    • Hubert's cloak, which Hechter named Steve.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Towards the end of the first arc, Maxim discovers that the reason Gilbert's so evil is because Maxim stole his soul.
    • According to the big Reveal of Episode 4, Maxim didn't just steal Gilbert's soul, he stole his destiny. And attempting to fix this has been a major part of the Black Knight's motivation.
  • Playground Song: Hechter kept himself occupied this way for the five years his head was buried in the desert.
  • Rape as Backstory: Jenny was almost raped as a child, and the consequences of that act scarred her for life.
  • Sanity Slippage: Inverted in Morris. He completely loses it after an incident in the earlier arcs, but has been growing gradually more lucid of late, becoming a bit of a Mad Oracle in the process.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: The elderly Maxim, whom his grandkids call 'Uncle Cranky'.
  • Secret Identity Apathy: There's actually a company rule in Team Evil against unmasking KO'd heroes. Besides...
    Gilbert: Maybe he wears a mask because he's grotesquely deformed like you?
    Hechter: Oh...that's a good point. Don't want to get nightmares...
  • Wham Line: A series following the Black Knight's reveal in Episode 4, including this exchange:
    Maxim: No! It's a lie! I didn't! I couldn't! I'd remember...
    Black Knight: Like you remember the other destinies you've stolen?
  • Whip Sword: The Crimason Blade has a weapon like this.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The entire story save for the first few pages is a flashback on the part of Maxim, telling the story to his grandkids.
  • With This Herring: When Maxim joins the Fighters' Guild, the only weapon they give him before sending him out on jobs is a hyped-up stick. He names it Lucile.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Gilbert. He wants to resurrect an evil god and rule the world, but only because a jewel, which sensed danger, turned itself into an exact replica of him, and took his soul because it was the one thing it couldn't now Gilbert doesn't feel any emotions and when he dies there will be nothing except emptiness...which is why he is raising Deo-Deo to grant him eternal life so he won't cease to exist.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Actually an undead apocalypse, which happens as a Time Skip between arcs two and three.