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Webcomic / Athena Wheatley

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Athena Wheatley is a Webcomic by Sylvan Migdal.

The protagonist is the titular Athena Wheatley, who appears to be both a clockmaker in Baltimore, 1841, and a physicist in the distant future when the Earth has been accidentally destroyed. As the plot unfolds, it seems that physicist Athena has created an artificial universe in order to run experiments on how to fix the "glitches" that are destroying space-time. Clockmaker Athena appears to be a denizen of the artificial universe, but is linked to the future Athena some how and dreams of her.


Perhaps more importantly, Clockmaker Athena has constructed a working time machine, but when she tests it upon herself she is hauled into the far future by Time Police who are anxious to stop their Universe being destroyed by careless time travel. Unfortunately, an unscrupulous denizen of her own time has stolen some of her work, and has travelled to the future too...

This comic shows examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: "The Fog" wields a BFS which can slice thugbots in half with ease. It has been shown to cut off bits of bystanders by accident, too.
  • Aerith and Bob: "Dave" is an orange, anthropomorpic alien with a tail. Her boss, "Thaampa" appears to be an actual human.
  • Artificial Human: Twan is a Winged Humanoid robot whose day job involves playing an Angel at a museum of human history.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Bee is an accountant. She is also clingy and hyperactive and a bit obsessed with Dave, and apparently savaged an armed pirate using only her teeth.
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  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: the opening pages show an Earth-like planet being sliced up by an enormous "glitch", and one slice crashing into the planet's moon.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Within 6 panels of his first appearance, Doctor Moultrie has already broken into Athena's home, stolen some cheese and wiped his hands on her curtains. It's a pretty succinct summary of his character.
  • Exposition Beam: Dr Moultrie is educated about the civilisation of 9283 with some sort of direct-to-brain learning device. A slightly simpler variant is available to everyone though... with a bit of concentration, anyone can make the "info panel" of another person pop unto existence, listing their name, job titles and "level" (or degree of social influence).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: New Earth City apparently has something that looks startlingly like the Statue of Liberty, but this one is modelled on a bikini-clad lady pointing a pistol at the sky and smoking a cigarette. Yee haw.
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  • Flaming Sword: Twan has one as part of his museum costume.
    Twan: Its kind of a dick weapon. I mean, you chop a motherfucker's arm off, he's got enough problems at that point. It's not strictly necessary for him to also be on fire.
  • Future Imperfect: The museum Twan works at is chock full of this. His robotic existence helps to perpetuate it.
  • The Glomp: Bee basically is this.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The "Thug Co" security staff employed by the (presumably legitimate) Time Police seem startlingly incapable of understanding orders or shooting straight. The latter is probably a good thing, considering their enthusiasm for violence and embroiling bystanders.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Partially averted. The solar system is of vanishingly small interest of importance in the grand scale of the Galaxy, but it is the only place where mammals have evolved and hence the source of all the cheese in existence. Cheese is the number one product of interest of the solar system, and appears to be particularly sought after by a wide variety of alien races.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The Mogrily, who invented the super-science that allows the laws of nature to be rewritten at will, are described as the Smuggest race in the galaxy.
  • Starfish Aliens: Many of the alien races are exceedingly strange looking.
  • Super Hero: The "Punchemalls" are a 'life theatre' group (meaning that real life is their stage) who are "sworn to fight, fuck, sing and die like heroes - in the name of art!". They appear to be reasonably competent heroes and can certainly handle themselves in a fight. They wear traditional costumes, and Panky has a cape, too.
  • Super Spit: Dave can apparently produce toxic saliva, and spit with unsettling range and accuracy. It can blind people.
  • Space Is Magic: Following the amazing super science of the Mogrily, the Laws of Nature are now established by voting and so can vary wildly from place to place.
  • The Quiet One: Clockmaker Athena doesn't have much to say, but it's usually pretty pointed when she does.
  • Time Machine: Athena's time machine can send items forward in time (and she has the common sense to test this) but it might not be capable of sending things into the past.
  • Time Travel: Clockmaker Athena is apparently capable of building a functional time machine with 1800s technology. The humans and aliens in the far future seem to be quite unable to replicate the feat, and are very keen for her to reveal her designs.
  • Time Police: Athena is unexpectedly yanked into the far future by what appears to be some sort of temporal control agency who inform her that she will not be allowed to go home again. The action of time travelling also seems to cause localised glitches much like the one that destroyed the world in the introduction, though on a much smaller scale.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight:
    The Fog, Swashbuckler: Dave, I've been thinking: swords that can deflect bullets!
    Panky, Deadeye: Fog, don't bother our busy designer with your bullshit. If you want to fight gunfolk, ask her to make you a gun.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: A vast number of the aliens in the future appear to have boobs. They seem to be a female only trait, but if they can lactate whatever they produce is quite unlike milk as Earth is the only source of dairy products in the Galaxy.
    • Dave appears to have breasts, but lacks nipples.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Dave evidently finds the sight of dismembered robots quite disturbing.
    • Unfortunately, the "flowerbed" she throws up in turns out to be an Ambassador.


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