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Oh geez he fell out of his midform! o_o

James very deliberately transformed to full form.

He of course did this to get even floofier.

Not to mention having a bigger body, a sharp beak, teeth and claws handy; when you’re angrily chewing out a mysterious, powerful and very self-centered supernatural entity it’s a good idea to have your personal weapons ready.

That and it’s probably a comfort thing; if I were as upset as James is right now, I’d want to be in my proper shape just to remove the tiny, tiny additional stress of maintaining a midform on top of everything else. He has solid earth under his forepaws now instead of air, which might help him feel more grounded, and also transfer his urge to claw/strangle Ravi to the dirt instead.

He clearly values his self control highly, so it might also help that most people would have more trouble reading the emotional cues of a gryphon than a human shape (not that Ravi seems to get it either way).

Looks like Michelle’s a seeing little red too! Aaand Martha. Ravi, you’re three for three, now!

I gotta imagine you’d feel some sympathy for someone who lost their father if you lost yours, too, even if it wasn’t from guarding caverns for reasons they didn’t even know about. That stuff hurts, especially after listening to someone crap all over the work they’ve done that led to MULTIPLE deaths and injuries.

That or Ravi’s complete and utter obliviousness to people’s emotions would wear most people’s tempers thin. I mean, I know there are some neurotypes that have a hard time reading other’s emotions, but most that I know would probably be able to understand that a big, floofy, shouting gryphon (especially one that is usually quiet) means ANGRY. This is not exactly “not being able to read facial expressions” or “not being able to sense passive-aggressiveness or sarcasm” stuff here.
(Seriously I woulda said the exact same thing as Michelle. :I )

With good reason.
Ravi has insulted James and the Finns, right in front of her.
That in addition to the events of chapter 1, where Ravi gave no Real Clear And Complete Answers, just minuscule fragments of maddening hints, and didn’t care about actually TEACHING Jim or Colin.

In fairness, teaching them about using their magic might be a fairly complicated thing that he can’t just do over the course of an afternoon, especially with everything else happening. Not to give Ravi a pass, but given how important all of this seems to be (and how he’s honestly behaving in a manner to be expected of an immortal, highly magical creature) it really makes quite a bit of sense that he’s focusing on the caves and the forgotten magic.

Ravi never bothered to attempt to try to teach anything to Jim, at his shop. On learning how the Finns regarded his Curse, Ravi just grabbed some kitchen shears, cut off a long lock of Jim’s hair and turned it into plants, angrily telling Jim:
“And I assume you don’t even have the most rudimentary control over these!”
No attempt at ANY teaching for Jim.

And Colin, on meeting him at the Cirque Fountain, Ravi pushes Colin into somehow using his version of the Curse, but again, no attempt at any Real Teaching.

I’m just saying that the concepts imparted in a teaching might not be easy to do in one sitting. Ravi was clearly very earnest in checking on the egg/learning about Michelle/figuring out why his ‘gifts’ were forgotten, and given the timeline present here it just doesn’t seem like there was an opportunity to do much of anything.

There are definitely some things you just don’t start teaching immediately. Colin picked it up pretty quick (probably due to the malleability of youth) but for somebody older you probably have to learn how to -think- differently right from the start.

I’m not really trying to defend Ravi because he’s been, ah… a little frustrating, but on the same token it’s really not fair to accuse him of gross misconduct on every level. He’s not being fair to the Finns, absolutely, but some of these comments are being immensely unfair to him.

At his shop, Ravi chopped and changed subjects, and then merely wanted to find out what Jim REALLY knew. On learning just how the Finns regard his Curse, he launched into an angry tirade. But there was no attempt made, at all, to teach Jim.
And nothing at all was said about the Phoenix Egg from Michelle’s Vision.
And nothing at all was said about wanting to check up on the egg, by Ravi.
All Ravi said, at the end of the shop scene was that he hoped to visit Fingol that evening. Jim short circuited that.
And then Ravi’s actions at the Cirque Fountain, and Mary’s reaction to that, had Ravi dragged off to Fingol to explain himself.
And at Fingol, yet again, nothing at all was said about wanting to check up on the egg, by Ravi.

Ravi, here’s a lesson for you about mortals: Don’t piss them off, especially if you plan on working with them. You may be way more powerful and long-lived, but there are a *lot* of them and they hold grudges. And they never, ever do things like you expect them to, and they follow each other’s lead, and just *one* of them (with the proper motivation) can give you the kind of Bad Day that makes the aether you were spawned from look cozy and attractive. HINT, HINT, HINT.

How out of the loop does Ravi need to be to take all that James had just thrown at him and not instantly come to the conclusion that he’s mad… Yeesh

A lot more than that, Weirdo.
Remember that in the final panel of chapter 1, Ravi is acting as though nothing at all has happened, that EVERYTHING is going just fine and all that matters is he’s back in time for dinner. That while he completely ignores James being somewhat out of it, and Michelle just barely running on auto-pilot.
I think it would take someone on the same or higher power level as Ravi to knock some sense into Ravi. Bloodcarver isn’t as he’s decidedly mortal. Gabe might be able to do that.

Ha. I just read your first sentence and thought you were calling the poster a weirdo, rather than referring to their name. Did a huge double take before I realised.

I think Ravi might not be good with hints. He needs people to spell things out to him. Even that “you think?” comment was too difficult for him: He needed her to say “yes. Yes he is.” Hints are not the way to indicate information to Ravi. Everyone has been too polite, when really he needs just as much explanation as they do.

James looks so little when compared to Jim in full form. Is it Jim’s newly revealed earth magic that makes him so huge?

Also, we could already infer that the reason that first born Finns are encouraged to travel abroad before becoming Cave Guardian because it’s a consuming job that probably doesn’t allow for vacation time, but now we know it may be more of a “GO TRAVEL AND ENJOY THE WORLD…before you are either heavily INJURED or GET KILLED…”

Comletely unrealted to everything else (which would be, Ravi is thick as a brick someone clock him over the head with one, please), but:

I just realized Martha’s collar throws a shadow, and it’s the only thing about her that does. That’s… really neat.

Most probably the collar is the focus for her spirit to manifest/interact with the ‘material plane’ in her remembered form. If you look at page 2 of this chapter you can see her reentering it after her nervous poltergeist fit–which I imagine is very similar to the fit a regular dog has when a new person shows up at their house, just with less tear-assing around the house and barking and more shaking/levitating/hurling everything in that particular area.

Wow. I think Michelle’s more than a little ticked off. She seems to be quietly livid and looking for a chance to explode on Ravi too.

Consider how the day has proceeded for her.
What Ravi has done so far in the day is to provide minuscule fragments of frustrating hints, comprehensively confuse Jim, provide a pre-teen troublemaker with an enlarged arsenal, and rant insults against the Finns over and about how history has proceeded despite his The Plan(tm).
What he has NOT done is provide Real Answers to Michelle, or to TEACH Jim and Colin in how to use their abilities from the Curse, or how to PROPERLY do the job of Cave Guardian.

The worst part is James looks so cute it made me look up lynx griffins so I could see a griffin with a short tail. It look so cool.
I was also thinking last page ‘I bet he going to get more poffy until he is a giant ball of fluff and it will be so cute.’
This page I was going oh he is so cute puffed up then I thought how he is a father of three with a handicap and how that comment would probably just make him puff up more in anger.

I believe this is called “grudge gathering.” It tends to break personalities. It is a key component in many types of spree and serial killers.

James will need to accept he is a Finn, and bound by a millenia old sacred oath, or he will need to foreswear the family name and leave. They can all do it – give up any claim of relation to Phinneus the Red – only then are they free to do anything but slavishly serve the oath.

Also – James is acting like Ravi has refused to explain anything, but they haven’t asked. They haven’t really given him a chance. Just screamed their innocence and that he was wrong. Now at least they seem to admit he might be talking about a real thing, but how dare he do so?!

These Finns seem to expect to be worshiped by other mythical-beasties. They seem to think that just because they are kind (in a slightly self-serving way) to others who aren’t so powerful they are God’s Gift to Earth. If anyone tries to talk back to their sacred power, and imply they are anything less than Divine well they don’t understand. They don’t know what’s been endured. They don’t understand.

This is why we had the french and russian revolutions. The Finns are demonstrating all the worst characteristics of a failed noble line. Forgotten oaths, thinking past sacrifices count in the present, not owning past failures (past sacrifices don’t count, but past failings do) and the obligations they bring (if Ravi should have checked up, why didn’t they go hunt him down?), and getting aggressive when called on those failings.

I also think the Finns’ innate biases against humans are playing in here (if I may give the author credit for creating such complex fallen heroes) – if Ravi didn’t look quite so human, he might be treated more diffidently – or with more belief and less immediate hostility.

Are we reading the same comic? If this is supposed to be a devil’s advocate post on Ravi’s behalf, I’m afraid you need to re-sit the bar exam.

The Yaksha are generally benevolent nature spirits guarding buried treasures, but they also, uncommonly, appear as ogres and monsters, i.e. as harmfully malicious towards humans.

LOOK AT JAMES. See the lost wings and tail? “Past sacrifices don’t count” — REALLY? He certainly seems to be experiencing them in the present! And his FATHER died defending the cavern. It’s THAT death that James uses to chide Smug Ravi with, not his own crippling in the same or a later fight. We haven’t seen the full story on that, but given that the phoenix egg is apparently a Big Hairy Deal, consider what kind of beings have likely come after it.

Ravi’s first appearance includes him doing the mudras (hand signs) that tell how important he is and that everyone should listen to him. This is not a good sign. You do not get the undivided attention and respect of others by suggesting that they don’t have anything important to say. At the very least, you listen to them, and ask questions to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the situation before you erupt into a lecture.

When Ravi did shut up with the meandering self-aggrandizing chatter long enough to hear a question, he didn’t actually listen and answer. He went off onto tangents about how cool he was, or got distracted by something shiny. When he did answer he got huffy and very very insulting to his hosts, which is extremely rude everywhere. Guests should not insult their hosts, and these people are not his family, they are his hosts. Finn the Red may have been family, but these guys haven’t seen him for generations. He seems to have forgotten that to be part of the family you have to actually be known to the members of the family, and that was 800 years in the past, and not to put too fine a point on it, that was 50 years before the Magna Carta was signed, Wales was still an independent kingdom, English as a language was not the thing we speak today, the Normans hadn’t quite secured their conquest of the Saxons completely, and travel to India was extremely difficult and dangerous, probably even for a Yaksha. So, perhaps they were a bit busy two generations later when the magic stopped showing up in the family line, and perhaps it was still really difficult and unsafe to go wandering off through crusade-infested lands to find a random Yaksha who may not have given really good instructions about where he went or how to find him. (Given his current behavior, I’m thinking he didn’t even THINK about telling them how to contact him in an emergency.)

So yeah, look carefully at who is acting like the spoiled noble here. The Finns aren’t a failed line in any sense of the word, despite that they’ve taken significant harm every generation to keep this phoenix egg thing safe, despite everything resembling a reason other than ‘we promised and we will hold to that promise’ having been lost, to the extent that even the relationship between Ravi and Finn the Red was a big surprise. Really, he didn’t even re-connect with the Finns and see how things were going … he’s been back since before Jimothy was born, because that’s why Jim got the magic and his older brother didn’t. In that time, he didn’t get any closer to the family?

And seriously. Do we even want to trust that Ravi is telling the truth about the nature of that friendship? Or that it was truly as deep as he said it was? Because everything he’s said so far has been just one-half Muahahaha short of a supervillainous rant over the perfection of his plan, followed by a supervillainous rant over the failure of his minions to keep to the details of the plan. That’s when he’s not scolding them for something they couldn’t do because his presence was what powered the passing of the “blessing” — and he should have known about that if he were the hot-shot he thinks he is. To be blunt, he’s acting a bit senile here.

As far as the assertion that the Finns are ‘fallen heroes’ in some sort of moral sense, I think the thesis doesn’t hold water. They don’t act like failed French nobles, though perhaps they do act a little bit like English gentry — England is not America, and they own land, so yeah, there is a class thing there. But they’re not acting like Ravi is beneath them. They’re acting like he’s INSULTING them, and frankly, he IS. He is not acting like the friend to the family he claims to be.

I’m not sure why you think the family has inherent biases against humans. If they did, would they bother to have amulets, except for the one or two who would need them to deal with humans?

I don’t get why you are so down on the Finns.

As far as they can tell they did “slavishly serve the oath” They all gave up their careers, travel plans, whatever, to go to those caves and guard them. The understanding of what they were supposed to be doing may have changed over the years, they may not be doing it “right” any more, but this isn’t due to some intentional dereliction of duty, it’s more like all the Christians who eat bacon, even though it specifically states in Leviticus that pig is not to be eaten. The Finns don’t even have the benefit of a bible, because obviously Ravi didn’t leave written instructions. He says he “Told Phinneus” in the “hopes that the responsibility might make him more mature”. This leads me to think that Ravi started with some clown off the street, gave him a big job and some magic, and then left for 800 years, Got to say, I’m amazed it worked as well as it did.

If anyone is being irresponsible it’s Ravi, if this thing was so important, why didn’t he GUARD IT HIMSELF?

Also, I don’t know where you get the idea that “These Finns seem to expect to be worshiped by other mythical-beasties.” None of the interactions that I’ve seen between them and other character suggest that to me. Yes, they are rich, and that conveys a certain amount of privilege, but they are not constantly referenced the way the “Nemean Elders” seem to be for example. Yes, they are an old, wealthy family, proud of their heritage, but that is a long way from some kind of furry French Sun King.

Finally, what if they DID try to find Ravi when the magic ran out? What if that started the tradition of the First or Second hatched going on a journey over seas?

I think the timeline could work something like this: The Red gets the magic, the Green is born with the magic, she is the fist born, she has magic, she is the next guardian. Now she has Blue, he has magic, Ravi leaves, Green’s next kid does not have magic, but that’s ok, she might have non-magical siblings herself, no big deal. No one notices a problem, until Blue has a kid, and there is no magic. Now they have 2 things to decide, who guards the cave if no one had magic and how do we fix this? First born guarding the cave seems like a logical choice if the first born have been doing it so far. Now you have the ordeal of sending someone to India, in the middle ages, to look for a shape-shifter, with what appears to be a fairly common name. India is a big place and travel was difficult back then, so the odds are good that even if they went looking for Ravi, they didn’t find him. They may have found other Yaksha’s who told them to “piss off, we have no idea what you are talking about” A griffin makes it home after all of that, or possibly dies on the journey, and what is the Finn family left with. They have a clear message that they are not getting the magic back.

In the mean time, they are now having to cope with the problems they used magic for before. People are still dying to defend the egg, people are still getting crippled, and from their perspective, Ravi abandoned them. Here is your irresponsible “god like” figure accumulation grudges. I think the Finns were perfectly justified in writing him out of their history after what it looks to them like he did.

TL:DR- Find and replace “the Finns” with “Ravi” and I agree with your comment.

To respond to what you said concerning Christians and eating pig, what you’re referencing is the Law of Moses. This law includes no eating swine and give sacrifice. After Jesus died on the cross, he fulfilled the Law, and the Law of Christ was placed, allowing pig to be eaten and sacrifices no longer was necessary.

I learned this in Seminary during high school, so I may have gotten some details wrong, but this is the best as I know it

“James is acting like Ravi has refused to explain anything, but they haven’t asked.”

They absolutely have. Ravi literally hasn’t shut up, slowed down, or backtracked, and has basically ignored answering all of their actual questions in favor of flashy reveals of things that only generate additional questions.

Plus, it’s kind of hard to “hunt down” someone when you have no idea they exist, nor reason to suspect they might exist.

Regardless, I feel like you’re being randomly and irrationally judgemental over a set of fictional characters whom you perceive to be and are condemning for being flawed. I think you forget that writing flawed characters creates an actual story and, more importantly, mimics real life, which is full of real people with the exact same flaws.

Um… “Grudge Gathering” is an extremely discredited concept in psychology. It comes from the era of attributing things to “hysteria”, and at one time it was declared by some that “injustice collecting” was an innate part of the psychosis of “homosexuality”. “Grudge Gathering” tends to now be used as a dog-whistle phrase to claim that legitimate complaints from minorities are over-inflated.

I don’t know where you’ve picked up this term, but you seem to want to use it as a mallet. I caution that this might not make you look as clever as you think.

You all are calling James ‘cute’ and ‘poofy’, but I’m just seeing lots and lots of anger and a very frightening Gryphon. Sure, the t-shirt ruined the effect of the raised hackles, but now that he’s in fullform, he just looks terrifying to me.

James is kind of scary in full form—and not just because he’s angry and battle-scarred.

Exactly, Dotcom.
Ravi, and too many posters here see James’ fur standing on end as something cute, funny, and innocuous. Something to not be concerned about.
It isn’t cute. It isn’t funny. It isn’t innocuous.
Ravi’s actions and attitude is very much like a normal human who harasses a cat, and ignores just how much he is angering the cat.
Unless I am very much off track, I think James is just barely holding back from attempting a serious mauling on Ravi.

Must you always be such a killjoy? We know he’s enraged. We know it’s serious. We are also enjoying the story and the art and the character design, and part of that enjoyment derives from fluffiness. We can appreciate the gravity of the situation while also acknowledging that anger turns James into a giant squishy pooflepuff. These things are not mutually exclusive.

Holy Asperger’s, Batman!

Ravi might have been fun and entertaining for a while, but at this point… Phenomenal cosmic powers should not be in the hands of something with the empathetic awareness of a mollusk.

James is a Brit. A Brit with a -beak-! “Stiff upper lip” couldn’t be more in his wheel house, but here Ravi’s gone and pushed him over the edge. That Yakṣa needs to learn himself some basic courtesy.

I’d like to just toss my two cents in here, because of the various attempts to analyze Ravi. There’s another possible explanation that people are missing, and given how many characters in this comic have deep, well-thought out psychological problems, I don’t think it’s necessarily reaching to suggest that Ravi might have something like mythical Asperger syndrome.

Ravi has demonstrated significant lack of social skills, and an apparent inability to read other people’s social cues/nonverbal communication even though he appears to communicate verbally just fine. He has trouble staying on topic, but he clearly has an extremely analytical mind and intense and extensive knowledge of the things which interest him. He has flipped between butterfly happiness to anxiety, then anger, with little in-betweening.

I’ve dealt with a friend who has this (diagnosed, undergoing treatment) for a couple of decades. Very similar behavior. Doesn’t display nonverbal emotional cues unless he remembers to “act them,” and has to consciously analyze other people’s faces to figure out their emotional states. Super-knowledgeable about the things that interest him, verbally quite communicative, doesn’t display any physical or speech-related symptoms. Frequently when dealing with new people (new faces/new expressions) finds himself floundering and ends up asking friends afterwards if he upset the new person…Even when it should have been blindingly obvious. Doesn’t always ‘get’ other people’s social obligations (once asked someone’s husband why he supported his wife when she was obviously wrong). Basically genius-level in everything except recognizing other human behavior and relationships…Which left him floundering badly in any conversation which had any significant emotional content.

This may not be the case for Ravi, but he doesn’t seem like he has been isolated from all contact, just from the Finns. So it doesn’t seem likely that he “just isn’t used to being around othe people,” more that he just doesn’t “get” other people.

So…A possible alternate explanation. Doesn’t excuse his irresponsibility, but if he gave the power to the Finn’s on a whim in the past, rather than it being a key focus of his interests, that would explain his lack of follow-up and his inability to stay on topic, as well as his inability to grasp/predict other people’s reactions to the things that come out of his mouth.

Why, I do believe Ravi is finally, if asymptotically, approaching a Clue.

The problem is whether or not Ravi will actually recognize the clue as being a clue, and whether or not Ravi will REMEMBER it.

I suspect he’ll be reminded of it as needed. :)

I doubt it will take. No matter how much they might try to beat the idea into his head, he seems to far gone for it to really take hold.

We already know it does not take, PJ.
The final panel for chapter 1.
I’ll repeat it AGAIN.
Ravi is acting as though nothing at all has happened, that EVERYTHING is going just fine and all that matters is he’s back in time for dinner. That while he completely ignores James being somewhat out of it, and Michelle just barely running on auto-pilot.

I’m guessing Ravi isn’t used to people being angry with him.

I’m beginning to wonder if Ravi genuinely has no ability to read emotions. He seems to be fine at remembering things like names and faces and places, even from hundreds of years ago, but all of his reactions to other people’s reactions so far have gone beyond “funny immortal” cluelessness to “are you okay?” cluelessness.

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