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Webcomic / Val and Isaac

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From left to right: Isaac, Minnow and Val.
Val and Isaac is a Science Fantasy comic, originally hosted on the Tumblr blog of Tredlocity. Some of the comics can also be found on the creator's Twitter.

Val and Isaac are space mercenaries: Val is a gun-toting, one-eyed badass, while Isaac is a studious wizard. Occasionally, the comic shows them doing their merc work, but the strip is largely dedicated to Slice of Life antics.

Despite the title of the strip being Val and Isaac, Isaac's role tends to be more that of a secondary character, with the most focal characters being Val and Minnow- the cyborg fish girl who works as the ship's engineer.

Notable for having mostly same-sex relationships.


Val and Isaac contains the following tropes:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Isaac has managed this entirely by accident.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Despite being from an amphibious species, Minnow had an issue with water as a child for some reason.
  • Action Girl: Val, Dread, Sila, Garla.
  • Action Mom: Garla has a son named Hunter (who's frequently seen playing video games with Dredd).
  • Adorkable: Pretty much everyone has their moments, but stand outs include:
    • Minnow: An aquatic alien with robot arms who constantly geeks out over machinery and typical nerd interests, along with her girlfriend.
    • Space Dread: Despite being an intergalactic assassin with No Social Skills, she has plenty of cute moments like arguing with Garla's son Hunter about him Spawn Camping her in an online game. One strip even shows her worrying about what her friends think of her, while trying to deal with a gigantic bomb.
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    • Isaac: He's rarely shown being socially awkward, but he tends to be the most openly friendly crew member while preferring solitary "uncool" hobbies like crotcheting and baking.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Doris calls Minnow "Swamp Shirt" sometimes. They're a couple.
  • Amazon Chaser: Sila falls for Val when the latter takes the former down in the practice ring of a virtual reality gym.
    Sila: (upon learning that Val's VR avatar is just herself) Please tell me your abs are real too.
  • Answer Cut: Just as Doris is lamenting to Minnow that she has nothing in common with her new boss, the first other member of her robot model she's ever met, it cuts to said boss and her girlfriend - who, like Minnow, is a member of an aquatic species (although more resembling a cute octopus or squid person than a fish like Minnow).
  • Artificial Limbs: Minnow's robot arms.
  • Asexuality: Isaac was recently confirmed to be ace, which was hinted at earlier on.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Wizard cuisine, which while extremely creative and cool can also be a nightmare to actually eat, as Val learned first-hand when she dropped her watch in a bowl of infinite nachos.
    • Space Dread's boomerang gun, which just flies back and hits her in the face.
    • Val uses a Recoil Boost to fly briefly at one point, but it takes so much energy the gun needs to recharge for a while after doing so.
  • Badass Gay: While it doesn't get as much focus as the comedy, half of the main cast members are space mercenaries, and they are a Cast Full of Gay.
  • Badass Normal: Val, who is allergic to cybernetics and only has one eye, manages to outdo Space Dread, who is by her own estimates mostly made up of cybernetics and dark magic.
  • Big Fun: Kraig is much bulkier than his husband Liam, and is the more easygoing and fun of the two.
  • Bi the Way: Minnow is currently dating Doris, but has had at least one happy relationship with a man in the past.
  • Black Magic: Space Dread is partially made of it, and it partially works through I Know Your True Name.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Garla.
  • Bruiser With A Soft Centre: Val. Badass space mercenary. Collects guns. Likes a fight. Crumbles on the spot when Minnow sniffles and tears up.
  • Butch Lesbian: Val is a tough space mercenary whose standard outfit is a suit of armour and considers busting up bandit outposts to be a fun afternoon.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Kraig, for some reason, thinks that wizards can't lie, which is not the case.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: One of Dread's mothers started out delivering lines like "Another fly trapped in my web of despair!"
  • Cast Full of Gay: Let's put it this way: the main recurring characters are Val, Isaac, Minnow, Doris, Garla, Space Dread, Liam, and Kraig. Of those eight, seven are or have been in relationships with another person of the same gender - Val with Sila (who was added very recently at time of writing), Minnow with Doris, Space Dread with Garla in at least one comic and more recently with Dex, and Liam with Kraig (Minnow has had boyfriends, so she's probably bi). Isaac is, meanwhile, asexual.
    hackium: why they all gay tho :^)c
    tredlocity: cause its space
  • Childhood Friends: Val and Garla have been friends since they were kids.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The three main characters are red/pink (Val), blue (Isaac), and green (Minnow).
  • Cold Ham: Space Dread's facial expression rarely changes, but she's incredibly dramatic.
  • Cool Sword: Isaac makes one for Val.
  • Cupid's Arrow: Well, "Romanticore's Arrow". Isaac gets hit by it here, though his Asexuality means it does zilch to him, and we learn that it's apparently a regular occurrence, as the entity in question keeps getting told to hit a "Plumber Isaac", despite the individual in question having issues with commitment. Isaac thinks that they should unionize.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Doris towards "baby" robots, aka. newer models still under warranty.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted. Neither Minnow's robot arms nor Space Dread's unspecified cybernetics stop them from being gigantic nerds.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Space Dread is described as a ruthless, murderous bounty hunter. She is also a colossal nerd and good friends with Val's crew.
  • Demonic Possession: The "Terror Space" at one point takes over Isaac's mind, so Val tricks it into doing all the chores.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Val is apparently considered this by her alternate universe doppelgängers.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • Garla has recently picked up a chin from somewhere!
    • In the original We Draw Comics collab, Minnow's arms were normal, not cybernetic.
  • Enthralling Siren: Isaac harvests some song from them as a component of his dad's birthday gift. He's immune to their song because he's ace, but his gay sister- who was on the phone with him at the time- wasn't so lucky. (She was fine, after some physical restraining and a cold shower.)
  • The Empire: Val's race and/or civilization were this, but they were defeated in a Great Offscreen War some time in the past.
  • The Engineer: This is Minnow's job.
  • Entendre Failure: this strip.
  • Extended Disarming: here
  • Eyepatch of Power: Val can't use cybernetics (due to allergies) or magic (see Healing Magic Is the Hardest entry below) to obtain a new left eye, so she sports one of these.
  • Famed In-Story: Space Dread has an incredibly fearsome, entirely warranted reputation.
  • Fish People: Minnow.
  • Friendly Enemies: Despite no long being constantly at each other's throats, Space Dread does still occasionally consider killing Val whenever her bounty starts to get exorbitantly high.
    Val: (as they both draw guns) Dread, c'mon.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Doris's model name, DOR15, describes the two things she was designed to do: "Detective Or Retail, Mark 15"
  • Happily Adopted: Minnow. Though Liam is a bit strict, her fathers obviously adore her and vice-versa.
  • Has Two Mommies: Space Dread has two moms and Minnow has two dads. Minnow is adopted; it's unclear if Space Dread is or not.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Healing magic apparently relies on the subject's memories of the affected body parts, so older wounds and wounds associated with highly mentally traumatic events can't be healed properly. Isaac tried healing Val's eye once, but the result was bad enough that he just casts a depth perception boosting spell every week or so now.
  • I Know Your True Name: Dark magic apparently draws power from names. It's been confirmed that "real name" means the one you consider to be yours, so Space Dread's deadname doesn't count, and since she was already going by "Space Dread" when she found a name that felt right, she and her moms are the only ones that know it. A warlock who tracked down her birth certificate found this out the hard way.
  • Inconvenient Summons: A bandit attacks Isaac's sister while he's in the bath, he answers her summons wearing a towel.
  • Insectoid Aliens: Liam resembles a stick insect.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Space Dread, for protection from dark magic. Unlike Minnow, whose real name is "Melody"- though that's kept on the down-low for the same reason- we never find out Space Dread's. All we do know is that only she and her mothers know it, and she first used her current title for an MMO character.
  • Large Ham: Dread's ex-supervillain mother was like this in her old career, so you can kind of see where Dread gets it.
  • Lazy Alias: Doris is accused of this, being a DOR15 robot who goes by Doris, by her overly paranoid boss.
  • Literal-Minded: Val has trouble picking up on Sila's meaning here:
    Sila: My hero! However shall I repay you?
    Val: Oh, you can just transfer the credits to my-
    Sila: I have a better idea.
    [she whispers into Val's ear while Val starts blushing]
    Val: (awkwardly) Th-that sounds nice, but we need to cover the fuel costs to-
    Sila: Yes, I will pay you for real too.
  • A Load of Bull: Garla is basically a space minotaur.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Space Dread has four arms, and despite her dorkiness is clearly very competent at her job.
  • Mundane Utility: Dread is shown using her shapeshifting to do things like take multiple free samples or get movie tickets for "one adult, one child" so she can put her feet up.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: The more we learn about Space Dread, the dorkier she gets: she likes juggling and took her title from her MMO character. She ended up joining her space merc chapter because she happened to be in the room when it formed, and her current outfit began as the cosplay she was wearing at an anime convention when she had to perform a job without time to change.
  • No-Sell: Isaac being asexual means that things like the song of an Enthralling Siren and the arrow of a "Romanticore" have no effect on him (the latter apparently happens on a regular basis).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Colin, one of Minnow's classmates had people copying off of him because they thought his brain was really big until they learned that it was actually his butt. One classmate, Nathan, kept copying off him, but since Colin hated him he made sure that he got the wrong answers.
  • The Paranoiac: Doris's new boss could perhaps stand to have her detective programming debugged.
    Doris: And then she accused me of bugging her office to expose her secrets or whatever!
  • Parents as People: Minnow's dads are good, although Liam can be a bit overprotective; Isaac's father has certain issues with wizardry (note that Isaac is a wizard) and keeps talking up Isaac's sister's axe business but does seem to care on some level, and Val is at one point shown slamming some booze and insulting her mother's charred helmet.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Quite literally, with Val and Isaac.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: We never actually get to see much of the antagonism, but at least two different people (including Space Dread) have greeted Val with relative cordiality after attempting to kill her in past- after all, "space mercenary" is just a job.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Subverted with Space Dread, who has red skin and wears black. While she's Edgy (TM), and apparently tried to kill Val once, she ends up as basically their wacky neighbor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Right down to color schemes, with pink/red Val being more aggressive and violent while blue Isaac is more relaxed and careful.
  • Retired Monster: One of Dread's mothers used to be a supervillain.
  • Robosexual: Minnow (a cyborg) is dating Doris (a robot).
    • Apparently every alternate universe version of Minnow is also dating a robot, except for the one who is a robot. (They're dating a tree.)
  • Robot Girl: Doris and Floaty Floats.
  • Robot Hair: It's reprogrammable!
  • Science Fantasy: It's a sci-fi setting where ghosts are a thing, one can fly through the haunted Terror Space, and "wizard cuisine" exists (featuring such dishes as the aptly-named Literally Endless Bowl of Nachos).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Minnow asks Garla about Val's mother, Garla's reaction is to finish her drink and bail out the nearest window.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Val is not good at this dating thing.
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Doris would prefer to be a criminal investigator, and would be amazing if she was one, but her planet doesn't exactly have a lot of crime, so her retail job is the best that she's got. Once she's fired, she manages to locate a new one, which is hellish in an entirely new way (her boss, another robot of the same design, is a weird, paranoid overachiever).
  • Supernaturally Validated Trans Person: Space Dread once avoid being hexed because a deadname doesn't count as true name for the purpose of curses (she chose her name after she'd began using Space Dread as an alias, so only her and her mums know it). As a result, a Warlock who went out of the way to find her birth certificate was wasting his time.
  • Teleportation: Val's ship has a teleporter, although because it's old, organic things using it are horribly mutated - and Isaac's magic can't teleport things long distances. On the bright side, this allows Doris to come visiting, since she's a Robot Girl with no organic parts.
  • Token Wizard: Isaac is this to the rest of the main cast (whose abilities mostly come from being highly trained, robots, aliens, cyborgs or highly trained alien cyborgs). This is typically played for laughs when the arcane nature of his powers clash with the scifi aspects of the Science Fantasy setting (e.g. a massive monster which can just be shot, as it's "only" weakness was the only weakness on its planet).
  • Transgender: Space Dread was confirmed to be trans by a comic and subsequent author commentary.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A man leaves Doris a 3-star review after she saved his life because "it will encourage her to work harder".
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Isaac really wants to impress his father, but since all his skills revolve around magic- which his dad hates- he has a hard time of it. While it turns out his father finds the magic hammer Isaac gave him very useful, he won't admit it to Isaac's face since he knows his son will rub it in (which was indeed Isaac's plan).
  • The Worm That Walks: Space Dread can apparently turn into a swarm of bugs, although it gives her a headache.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Space Dread and Isaac both are capable of it- and both use Minnow's form for aquatically-inclined work, much to her extreme distaste. Once Val uses a hologram mod to her armor to look like Minnow, Isaac says that it's gone too far and has to stop.
  • Wrench Wench: Officially Minnow's job, but she's just as likely to end up fighting alongside Val and Isaac when they're on missions.


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