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The best part of this comic is the relationship between Pasqualo and his friend group. It feels kinda like a slice-of-life at times, despite the magnitude of the events going on around them. After the apocalypse, they even start to feel like a tribal society, with a culture and way of life all their own. And, honestly, I think it would have been better to focus on that. It's already stated in the comic that many of the other tribes in the area hate him because they know he and Aurora caused the apocalypse, and for being a warmongering imperialist, so it wouldn't have been hard to create some rival tribes for him and play up the conflict between them. Or heck, do away with the apocalpyse altogether, and just have the tragedy come from living in a bad school in a bad neighborhood, coming from bad families, and the misery that comes with being born into that kind of situation.

I also think it would have been better to focus on this because the ending kinda sucks. It's not the worst ending I've seen to a webcomic, but it's not especially satisfying either. We never find out why Pasqualo was so special, we never find out why the presence of Aurora has to cause the apocalpyse, we never find out how Katie knew about the apocalpse beforehand, and a ton of other things are either left unexplained or given really lousy conclusions.

I love stories that have characters go through intense suffering. It's part of the reason why Handplates and It's a Hard Life are some of my favorite comics ever. But when the suffering comes from reverse Deus Ex Machinas that just make sure everything is miserable for no reason other than because the author said so - I don't consider that very compelling writing. Why should I get invested in anything that's happening when the author is just going to take away everything the characters have accomplished on a whim?

In the chapter "Everyone Dies", wouldn't it be so much more interesting if the characters saw the Space Rhinos coming near the beginning, spent the whole chapter doing everything they can to prepare for them, stressing endlessly over their preparations, only for everything that could possibly go wrong to go wrong at the end, with the main cast just barely escaping the destruction of the planet only to get hunted down and slaughted by the Rhinos immediately after anyway?

I'm gonna bring up Avatar yet again (I do that a lot in these sections) because it's such a well-written show - this is what happened in the Day of Black Sun. The gaang spends the entire season feverishly making preperations for the eclipse, only to have it all go wrong at the last minute because, unbeknownst to them, The Fire Nation knew about the invasion ahead of time and were able to make counter-preparations for their arrival. Thus the tragedy comes from real failure instead of cheap shock value, and hits a lot harder as a result. But as it is, the comic often feels like it's written by a sub-par DM who refuses to work with the players and railroads the plot as hard as she can even when it harms the story.

However, It Hurts!! is primarily a comedy series, and for the most part, it's pretty funny! So many great reaction images and screenshottable panels. I just wish the tragic parts came from something quantifiable, rather than the characters getting everything ripped away from them again and again for no real reason.

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