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Webcomic / To Prevent World Peace

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"Is... Is that our new Arch-nemesis?"
* Cue montage of the protagonist in a Bad Future defining Beware the Superman*
'"No. I wish it were."

To Prevent World Peace is a Web Comic by Emily Martha Sorensen, who also made A Magical Roommate.

In a World… where Magical Girls are commonplace, Kendra and her friends have fought against evil since grade school. However, one day her life takes a dramatic shift when Chronos, a natural born Mage with the power to see the future corners her outside of school. Chronos has been plagued with visions of a future where Magical Girls seek to control the world, for its own good of course, without anyone standing in their way, and Kendra is right in the center of it all. Kendra is quick to point out that it's impossible for a Magical Girl to turn evil. "Except," Chronos is just as quick to reply, "for the times that they do."

Disturbed by these revelations, Kendra makes a heart-wrenching decision: She breaks off from her team, her friends and her family to become a villain instead. But rather than Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, Kendra's plan is (with the much reluctant help of Chronos) to hunt down Magical Girls at most risk of becoming corrupted, and force them to change their ways... or else.

And that's the start. The comic focuses on one way a world with Magical Girls versus Super-Villains could develop, with a sprinkling of Worldbuilding and comedy to balance out the main plot.

Tropes in To Prevent World Peace:

  • Absence of Evidence: How Rhea and Chronos know about the other's presence, since their powers can't be used to see anything related to the past / future of the other.
    • Page 37: Rhea finds out Chronos's involvement in Kendra's defection, by her inability to see Kendra's defection.
    • Page 110: Chronos discovers Rhea is at her front door, by her inability to see the future of that location.
  • Alliterative Name: Multiple instances:
    • Avenging Angel, the leader of the magical girls in the Bad Future.
    • Tiffany's M.O. with all her sentient magitek of death... that isn't about death.
      Kendra: You can't leave me alone with that girl! She's crazy!
      Tiffany: Hi, Stevie the Shower! Hi, Linus the Light Bulb! WHOA!! Robbie the Rocket Pack!
      Chronos: Indeed, and you still haven't given me a convincing reason to stay.
      • Page 107: Subverted with her cannons, which aren't given "C" names, but "B" names, like "Billy" and "Bobby". Although, it is never said precisely what kind of object they arenote , so it could still count.
      • Page 109: Doris the Death Ray.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Tiffany acts playful, childish and slightly spoiled. But she also commits crimes almost casually and cheerfully murdered a couple of villains who mistreated her.
  • Anti-Villain: Kendra becomes this, to prevent a Bad Future where Magical Girls control everything.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played with. Born mages are believed to be born evil, but Chronos proves there can be neutral bystanders and good-natured mages as well. Their villainy seems to be more a matter of upbringing than anything else. Most born mages are in fact quite harmless. Their notoriety is mostly the result of several born mage crime families, who happen to possess the most powerful bloodlines.
  • Always Lawful Good: Played with. Magical girls are considered good by definition. Their magical system requires the user to be pure-hearted, but if a magical girl is strong-willed enough and/or sufficiently deluded she can keep her powers even after losing her innocence. For a time at least.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Tiffany does it when invisible, as people think she died, as seen on page 413.
  • Beware the Superman: The main issue with the Magical Girl Union. Sure, having all the world's superheroes band together and organize seems like a classic League of Superheroes... until you remember that said League is composed of 0-to-18-year old girls. Almost all of the Union's futures are bad as a result of having easily-manipulated and socially-inexperienced superheroes come together under one easily-controllable organization. Hence the title - To Prevent World Peace (So That Peace Isn't Defined As Killing Almost Everyone With Heroic Incompetence).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Villains have means of brainwashing magical girls or their loved ones into joining them.
  • Cape Punk: The Magical Girl version.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Rhea is a villain and loves almost every moment of it - with the exception of handling incompetent minions and informants.
  • Catching Some Z's: At the end of page 31, Chronos says "Zzzzzzzzz..." when she sleeps.
  • The Corrupter: Rhea loves luring magical girls to villainy.
  • Dark Shepherd: Kendra's methods of culling corruption from the world Magical Girl population can be rather cold. However, she takes no joy from it.
  • Deconstruction: The series as a whole is a "light" deconstruction of Magical Girl anime. In this setting, magical girls can only receive their powers if they have a "purity of being" so that they completely believe in and represent an ideal, thereby gaining magical power that is used to hunt down the magical predators who plague society. Unfortunately, the forces of good are not one big happy family; politicians, businessmen, and even some muggles manipulate their magical daughters into doing dangerous / socially unacceptable things for profit; and some of the "pure-hearted" heroes of justice kill people, yet are never socially reprimanded for thinking that killing is a pure and honest thingnote . This usually results in many nice, kindhearted heroes having serious overconfidence in their ability to be incorruptible or infallible, and are extremely racist towards other types of mages as a result of their conflict and murder of said magesnote , as seen by Kendra in chapter 1 when she is very close-minded to a sensible and peaceful oracle's warnings. In the Bad Future, magical girls reason that the world is screwed up, yet they received their powers by being pure of heart, and they deserve praise for staying true to their ideals in spite of everything the world threw at them. "Therefore, they are obviously entitled to rule the world.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Tiffany has murdered two of her bosses via sabotage; one for being constantly abusive, the other for outright threatening to kill her if she didn't start making lethal weaponry. This has its price, as she lost her magical girl transformation and nobody short of Chronos would be willing to tolerate her.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Counterpoint is world renowned as a champion against apartheid, and is one of the people Kendra and Florence admire most. When Chronos reveals that Counterpoint has become a Knight Templar planning a violent revolt via Mass Hypnosis that will get countless innocent people killed or imprisoned, Kendra and Florence are reluctant to see why this is a problem.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The Union-controlled Bad Future Kendra seeks to avert.
  • Exact Words:
    • How Tiffany words things is very important, because they describe exactly what happened, and nothing else. Any implications are just that, implications. From the commentary for page 413:
    "Tiffany once described her funeral to Chronos as, "I saw my funeral years ago. No one even cried at it."
    This is true, but what little Tiffany didn't realize was that that didn't mean nobody was sad.
    • When Rhea is questioned by a magical girl who can detect lies, Rhea takes advantage of the fact that she cannot detect sincerity and uses careful language to dodge her questions.
  • Exotic Entree: The Deathwave crime family has a shop that sells pets, minions, and exotic food animals. When one of the animals annoys Rhea by chewing her dress, she retaliates by ordering it for dinner.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Right in the first chapter no less, with Kendra partnering up with Chronos, making a "villain" team.
  • Fantastic Racism: Born mages are treated with suspicion, no matter how harmless and useless their powers are. They tend to have trouble getting jobs and lose them when their magic is discovered.
  • Foreshadowing: Whenever Emily world-builds in the commentary, keep a lookout. Sometimes she hints at something that will involve that bit of info in the next chapter.
  • Growing Up Sucks: In most parts of the world magical girls are expected to give up their powers as they reach adulthood. The Word of God confirms this is bound to change eventually, since magical girls are becoming more and more aware of their power.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Only women can become magical girls. Averted with born mages, who can be both female and male.
  • Heroic Neutral: Chronos would really prefer to live life as a hermit. But since her visions of bad futures plague her sleep with nightmares, and some of these bad futures threaten the entire world, she has agreed to work with Kendra to avert them.
  • Heroic Willpower: If magical girl is strong-willed enough she can keep her powers even well past losing her innocence.
  • Innocent Inaccurate: Tiffany, because she states what she sees, without knowing precisely what's happening due to her young age:
    "Tiffany once described her funeral to Chronos as, "I saw my funeral years ago. No one even cried at it."
    This is true, but what little Tiffany didn't realize was that that didn't mean nobody was sad.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As said in page 129, Cream Angel had a "short-term memory eraser".
  • Living Mood Ring: In Chapter Twelve: Commentary one of the listed possible born mage powers is:
    eyes that change color depending on mood
  • Magical Girl: Well... Duh.
  • Magitek: Tiffany's inventions - according to Word of God, they are not scientifically sound, and it's only her magic that allows them to work.
  • Oh, Crap!: One from Kendra and Chronos when they realize that The Union (which is Well-Intentioned Extremist personified for magical girls) has begun construction. But the architect isn't Kendra; it's her best friend.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: As Kendra says on page 18, about Magical Girl Magic, ''Everyone'' knows our magic only works for the pure in heart. Chronos retorts that: "It's true that a girl has to be young, innocent, and well-intentioned to become a magical girl."
  • Never Found the Body: Given how Magical Girl Forms are a kind of extra life, this is important. From the commentary for page 413 "The girl in the fourth panel is one of the other girls in the group." And that girl was thinking:
    "Why does everyone think she's dead? There was no body. Doesn't that mean she's not dead?"
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Rhea may seem unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but she is colossally malevolent and quite good at what she does.
    • She even succeeds at killing her great-uncle, a high ranking made-man with instant death spells, by buying off his ninja security. Of course, the fact that he was such a paranoid, trigger-happy boss helped.
  • Parental Neglect: The reason Tiffany's so messed up:
    • Her irresponsible mother got pregnant out of high school and died in a car crash. Her father left her mother upon realizing she was pregnant.
    • Her Aunt never wanted children, only took care of Tiffany out of begrudging duty, and wasn't sad when Tiffany was believed to have died. Or at least, Tiffany thinks that her aunt wasn't sad. In the commentary for page 413:
    "Tiffany once described her funeral to Chronos as, "I saw my funeral years ago. No one even cried at it."
    This is true, but what little Tiffany didn't realize was that that didn't mean nobody was sad. It just meant that a) they didn't know her well, and b) even some of the ones who had known her slightly better than others felt more confusion than anything."
    • The first father figure to actually care for her was a born mage who ended up becoming a criminal in an impulsive act of revenge. And while they shared three happy years together, they ended up encouraging one another to go deeper and deeper into villainy. The villains who interacted with her after he died ranged from neglectful to downright abusive.
  • Power Parasite: As said on page 135: Rhea and Chronos's "uncle's power was to steal magical abilities".
  • Puberty Superpower: Inverted. Magical girls gain their powers as young children and are expected to lose them during or shortly after puberty.
  • Pure Is Not Good: How some magical girls are not good, even if they are pure-hearted.
  • Purity Personified: You have to be this to be a magical girl in this universe. Unfortunately, you don't have to stay pure to keep your powers, and sometimes one's definition of pure may be twisted or destructive.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The Olympian born mage crime family names themselves after Greek mythology, due to an old family myth claiming they are descended from the gods.
  • Shape Dies, Shifter Survives: Magical girls who die while transformed revert to normal and lose their transformation powers permanently. Born mages view this as cheating.
  • Shout-Out: The commentary for Chapter Five never so much as touched on it, but the situation with the Australian Magical Girl sounds somewhat reminiscent of Kyuubey.
  • Teen Pregnancy: From Page 416: Tiffany's Beginning: Commentary. Anything after this quote is a spoiler:
    Tiffany's mother got pregnant in high school,
  • Unequal Rites: Magical girls are believed to be always pure-hearted and good, born mages are seen as villains. Other magic users consider magical girls' system to be “cheating”, mostly because it lets them survive as depowered humans when their transformed form is killed.
  • Villainous Fashion Sense: Rhea's passion is designing clothes for villains (and the occasional magical girl). And then overcharging them.
  • Villain Protagonist: Kendra becomes this, to prevent a Bad Future where Magical Girls rule the world... badly.
  • White Sheep: Chronos, who isn't a villain like the rest of her family. But, she presents as a True Neutral slacker, saving the world so that she can stop having traumatizing nightmares, and funding the protagonist by stealing millions through stock marketing and psionic powers. Whether or not she's good, evil, or really neutral has yet to be seen in the comic.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • At the start of the series, this is Kendra's most potential future as the leader of the Magical Girl Union. And the Union itself. She's genre savvy enough to quit while she's still sane and resolves to prevent other magical girls from falling into corruption. But she is willing to resort to unpleasant means to do so, such as destroying their magical girl forms and otherwise breaking the law.
    • Sadly, her best friend, Florence, takes up the mantle. And doesn't quit after seeing Chronos's warnings. And while Florence herself is a Reasonable Authority Figure, there are several potential bad futures in which other magical girls / schemers still end up misusing the union to cause trouble.
    • One magical girl, Counterpoint, seeks to end apartheid... by fomenting violent revolution with Mass Hypnosis. And since Kendra agrees with the goal, she initially decides not to do anything about the means by which Counterpoint intends to accomplish this.
  • Wham Line: Kronos blunders so very thoroughly when she tells Kendra the expected probability that Kendra would become a world-destroying magical girl dictator.
    Kronos: Fifteen percent.
  • Word of God: After each chapter, Emily posts a page of commentary on the preceding, as well as the occasional bit of world-building on how her magical system works.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Most of the villains. Sadly, this creates a setting where all magical girls and their fans assume that any mage who isn't a magical girl is evil incarnate. This nearly causes the protagonist to fight, or even kill, an oracle trying by warn her about a bad future so she can go back to bed.
    • After becoming a villain, Kendra fights a lot of magical girls. Not to kill them (not permanently, at least), but to teach them of how stuck-up and close-minded they are, or rob them of their powers if they seriously abuse them. Since magical girl forms act as an extra life (with an expiration date), killing heroines in magical girl form is akin to crippling a non-essential body part linked to their greatest talent. This isn't as vicious as it seems, especially in the case of magical girls causing active harm to many peoplenote .
  • Yes-Man: Maria Athemyst starts out incapable of defying her socially abusive, misery-profiting dad. She gets better thanks to Kendra.
    Maria: This is ALL YOUR FAULT! I don't have a choice, my daddy is threatening to hire me out to other gamblers!
    Kendra: You REALLY need to work on your no-saying skills.