Apothecia is a short webcomic written by Taz Muir and illustrated by Shelby Cragg. An eleven-year-old girl named Jessie finds an intergalactic mass murderer trapped in the woods behind her house. It wants her to free it or kill it, but she instead keeps it alive until it can be found by the extraterestrial authorities and punished for its crimes. In the end, she faces the consequences of that choice.
This comic provides examples of:
- Aliens Speaking English: Jessie and the alien are able to communicate through English, though the alien's English is generally broken and sprinkled with strange phrases.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Jessie is possessed/merged/infected by the alien at the end of the story.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The alien appears to have innumerable eyes and mouths. It's also made of some kind of fungus.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Neither Jessie nor the alien can comprehend the other's morality.
- Blob Monster: The alien, which is a giant blob of fungus, eyes, and mouths.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Jesse unsuccessfully tries to blow up the alien and is used as a host by it for her efforts.
- Came from the Sky: The alien is stuck in a crater from where it crash landed onto Earth.
- Call a Human a "Meatbag": In just the first few pages, the alien refers to Jessie as a "meat wheel," a "limb treat," and "bone mass."
- Children Are Innocent: Discussed, when the alien brings up how Jesse promised to kill it.Jesse: Why do I have to pull the trigger?
Alien: Because you don't go back on promises!
Jesse: I was just a kid. You were a monster in a hole.
Alien: And now I am a monster in a tank. And you are still so very young.
Jesse: Kids don't know about death. They don't know what it means.
- Cosmic Horror Story: Although the alien's nature is more thoroughly explained that is usual for the genre, it's still a story where an Omnicidal Maniac space monster with Blue-and-Orange Morality wins at the end, and where the "heroine" is gradually corrupted and driven insane.
- Downer Ending: The alien is freed and is using a now-corrupted Jessie as a host.
- Fate Worse than Death: What the Interstellar Protectorate will apparently do to the alien when/if they find it.Alien: For what I am they will keep me dying when your Sun squashes in on itself. And it will not be my torment even half done. HAHAHAHAHAHA
- Flowery Insults: Every other word out of the alien's mouth is a weird insult towards Jessie.
- For the Evulz:Alien: Murder is a profession. Job. Employment, you tiny leg dog. There you are, walking along. Walk walk walk. Now you are a walker. Good job. Special child. Murder is like this.
- Friendship Denial: Jesse corrects the alien whenever it starts to imply that she must've grown fond of it to some extent after all the time they've spent together.Jesse: Augh, you're not my friend! You're just. You're my duty. I got you. When you're through, I'll be done.
- Gorn: Pages 39-41 show with no lack of detail a man being devoured by the alien.
- Hellish Pupils: The alien's many eyes are yellow, some with cross-shaped pupils.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Jesse's explanation for why she killed the kidnapper and will kill the alien.Jesse: But nobody stops being wrong, they just keep it going so they can watch the news. So I'll do it. I'll stop you, and then I'll turn myself in. After I make right happen as hard as I can.
- Implied Death Threat:Jessie: I'm not afraid of you.
Alien: You have much enthusiasm for mistakes.
- Last of His Kind: Though the alien is this, it claims to be proud of this fact and even offers to make Jessie the last of hers.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: It has teeth everywhere.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Jessie had killed the alien while she had the chance, everyone probably would have been happier.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Jessie feeds the alien rabbits and dog food. However, it's unable to escape the crater because the environment around it is incompatible with its ability to create spores.
- No Name Given: The alien is never named.
- "Not So Different" Remark: The alien eventually concludes to its joy that Jesse is a kindred spirit to it after she reaffirms that she'll kill it.Alien: The girl has got no pity! This is why you and I are one.
- Not Worth Killing: The lack of anyone who would mourn for her is why the alien let Jesse live.Alien: But I had long ago concluded that your death would have been the death of a star. So joyous! Much radiance. So pointless.
- One-Word Title
- Serial Killer: The alien claims that killing and causing suffering is in its nature, just as walking is in Jessie's.
- Shout-Out: There are a number of references to Harry Potter: Jesse can be seen reading Order of the Phoenix in several panels, she mentions what she thinks her wand would be made of, and she calls the alien "space Voldemort" at one point.
- Starfish Aliens: The alien is not remotely humanlike- if anything, it's a giant sentient fungus with disturbingly random eyes and mouths sprinkled around.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: The alien.
- Superior Species: The alien seems to think so, deriding humans constantly as inferior to it for their weakness and foolishness.
- Take a Third Option: Jessie refuses to kill or save the alien, instead opting to leave it where it is.Alien: To make no choice is not a choice.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: The alien's gang terrorized galaxies just because they wanted to.
- Time Skip: Partly through the comic, to nineteen years later.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Jessie, at eleven years old, kills a child abductor and throws his corpse to the alien.
- You Should Have Died Instead/Survivor Guilt: When the alien tries to gives her an implied death threat.Jessie: Shut up! You should've died back in the woods. I should've died back in the woods.
- You Will Be Spared: The alien promises to spare Jessie if she lets it out. It keeps its word.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Jesse is visibly angry and discomforted when the alien stops insulting her and starts complimenting her on her ruthlessness.