I discovered the webcomic Dominic Deegan a few years ago (2006?), then took the trouble of reading it from the beginning, which was around 2003 I think.
The comic’s creator “Mookie” Terracciano has said the comic is now in its last arc, and it certainly looks like one of the End of the World plotlines.
Anyway, this post is mainly about one of the characters rather than the overall comic: Gregory Deegan.
In truth, it was Greg that kept me coming back. I rooted hard for him; a character in difficult circumstances who made good. Greg was a very decent character for the first half of Dominic Deegan.
Alas, Mookie has mishandled the character for years now: Greg’s character, so full of potential, has been squandered and turned into a cartoonish buffoon.
Greg was a boy infected with necromantic blight which all but crippled his right leg, by his own brother Jacob as Jacob’s first experiment with necromancy leading to his descent to the dark side. Only Greg’s talent in healing White Magic prevented the decomposing blight from spreading and killing him. Despite his laming and the difficulties arising from it (being tormented and bullied by insensitive villagers for example) Greg kept a cheerful attitude and a naive belief in the goodness of people– including Jacob. He would have forgiven Jacob and only wanted his family reunited.
In The Chosen arc, Greg, cornered by the evil Chosen and Jacob, and his other brother Dominic fatally stabbed, is overcome by despair and anger, which triggers a tremendous blast of White Magic. The blast fortuituously heals Dominic, undoes Jacob’s necromancy and heals his own leg. Things were looking up for the now-healed boy, who now realizes that the world is his oyster.
Afterwards, Greg still has to contend with vicious bullies. Still unable to control his healing powers, he fights the bullies… and inadvertently heals them, prolonging the fight and leaving him beaten up, having to be rescued by a football player.
Yet he still goes out of his way to save the town from The Chosen, who sought revenge for their previous defeat. With the help of some power-ups aided by Dominic, Greg single-handedly fights The Chosen. Stretching himself to the limit, he saves the entire population of Barthis from an explosion emanating from the ground which would have killed them, since they rather predictably took shelter in basements and cellars.
Afterwards he took part in a fundraising rock concert for Barthis’ reconstruction. The chronically shy Greg finds love with the Mayor. I found myself cheering him on. Well done, Greg!
Sadly that was Greg’s high point. The next arc, Two Thief,was overall well-written, centering around the thieves Stunt and Bumper, Dominic, Dominic’s fiance Luna, and the Mayor, vs. a gang of organized criminals led by Urban Eddie seeking to establish themselves in a newly rebuilt town. Greg plays a relatively minor part. Still, Greg was not too bad in this arc. He has gained White-Magic based super-powers, has super-strength and can fly, but they are used well in the story, especially since Urban Eddie manages to outwit the Deegans. Greg’s only major use of his powers was his last minute healing of the thief Stunt, who had been stabbed.
Afterwards, it seems like Mookie didn’t know what to do with him. Greg becomes comic relief in arc after arc, something more fitting for the golem Quilt (a flesh golem made by Jacob early on in the series, who switches sides because he enjoys puns, and plays pirate and detective with Dominic’s talking cat?)
Alas. Greg deserves better. For the first half of Dominic Deegan, it seemed like Greg was becoming a very solid character, one with pathos thinly veiled by lame humour, who believes in the best in people, who gets hurt and rises again. One who would willingly sacrifice his life and in the process make readers cry, because they had been rooting for him.
Something tells me that the webcomic was origuinally supposed to have ended after the Two Thief arc, with the Deegans settling down in Barthis. The arcs that came after seemed like poorly done sequels.