Plot Holes: Portal Comic Pt. 2 Arrives

HOW DO ARTISTS DO IT? Witches, the lot of 'em

Valve have released the climactic part two of their free Portal comic, Lab Rat, and while I’m not sure if there’s anything in there that quite tops the art on page 5 it does offer a great conclusion and a juicy scrap of insight into precisely who Portal’s protagonist is. If you’re looking forward to Portal 2’s release date (only one week from now! WHAT?!) you probably owe it to yourself to read this.


  1. PFCskinner says:

    I’m not really into comics, but I love these ones. I’ve got no idea what’s going on but I just want to keep reading!

  2. Meat Circus says:

    I don’t trust that cube. It’s a little *too* helpful and talkative for my tastes.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      Talking cubes don’t stab.

    • Wulf says:

      B-bu-but… the cube is the only one he can truly trust!

    • Dan Forever says:

      I love that he was on anti-psychotics before the…event(?), and that it manifests into full blown schizophrenia when he runs out of medication (except for that which he was saving for when he needed it most, except that becoming less for a time is what lead to his demise).
      GlaDOS’s argument that she must be a product of his mental instability is genius.

  3. Ergates_Antius says:

    “Do you know what doesn’t rhyme with compliance? Neurotoxin”

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I like how glados managed to get her hands on neurotoxin. Clever girl.

    • PFCskinner says:


    • Quintin Smith says:

      I like “I’d ask you to think outside the box, but it’s obvious your box is broken. And has schizophrenia.”

    • el_Chi says:

      “The bad news is reality doesn’t exist. The good news is we have a new cat graveyard.”

    • Dominic White says:

      GlaDOS has now thoroughly overtaken Durandal as my favourite insane AI character ever. Her dedication to science is always amusing.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Ahh yes, rhyme – I was probably looking at the reply button as I typed.

    • Acosta says:

      So, they gave a Neurotoxin to a IA that, until the last test, it has only shown a will to kill humans, just because they felt confident in the “conscience” add-on. Genius :P. Aside of that, loving the comic.

    • Bret says:

      GLaDOS is, indeed, terrific. (she causes terror).

      It’s rather nice to have her, SHODAN and Durandal all out there separate, really.

      Just showing how different well written psycho AIs can be, when the average film or game is content with “Kill all humans… BZZT! Illogical!”

    • Wulf says:

      @Dominic White

      Never thought I’d think that but at this point, it’s so true. It’s actually nice seeing GlaDOS get more and more depth. I had originally thought that the whole Science thing was an excuse to murder people in the thousands, just an excuse she was telling herself, and that she was fully aware of what she was really doing. But this comic has me doubting that – instead, is it that she really is just insanely dedicated to her own brand of science, as horribly unethical as it is? That makes her a lot more deep and interesting.

      I hope that’s a trend they stay with in Portal 2. I can see that happening though because Valve definitely have a stable of amazing writers, and I’d like to shake their hands.

      Also, in general, my favourite line was: “You’ve earned a rest.” That gave me the shivers because GlaDOS said that in Portal 1 as well, and that makes me wonder whether his insanity is truly responsible for the talking companion cube, or whether GlaDOS has a mic in there. :p

  4. el_Chi says:

    Does the two-day release gap (19th in Americaland and 21st in Everywhereelseland) apply to Steam as well?

    • Meneth says:

      Doesn’t seem like it:
      “Available: 19 April 2011” (I’m in Norway)

    • Xocrates says:

      Steam says 19 over here as well (Portugal), dunno if that applies to all of Europe.

    • Meneth says:

      Portugal is in the EU (unlike Norway), so I’d say it almost certainly applies to the rest of Europe as well.

    • Communist says:

      As per the bottom of this page: link to

      It releases worldwide on Steam on the 19th (but I imagine the 20th here as I live in New Zealand and we’re from the future).

    • Xocrates says:

      @Meneth: Not necessarily, we didn’t get DoW 2: retribution at the same time as the rest of EU (well we did, but they took it back) and the UK often has different release dates than the rest of EU. I think release dates are country specific, EU has little saying on it.

  5. MadTinkerer says:

    Clever bit at the end. Strikes a good balance between fleshing out Chell’s character while keeping it just vague enough so to not disrupt the player’s idea of what she’s like.

    Also, after a bit of thought, it puts an interesting spin on a lot of the dialogue from the first game. How many test subjects did give up at the “obviously impossible” test chamber? While some of them, especially #19, were obviously made extra dangerous by GLaDOS, we can assume most of the test chambers were more or less as originally designed. And, interestingly, the scientists expected Chell would have broken the tests as originally designed.

    With Chell being the only test subject Still Alive, one gleefully anticipates GLaDOS’s exact reaction to this news. :)

    • aldo_14 says:

      If she’s moved up the test subject order, doesn’t it imply there are over a thousand other test subjects?

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      But they were all in cyrostatis, which has failed, so they’ve died.

    • HermitUK says:

      Indeed, seems taking down GLaDOS may have inadvertantly killed 1500+ people as well. Oops.

    • Urthman says:

      They were just clones. Which, like twins, have no souls.

  6. Monchberter says:

    Heresy I know, but I don’t think Portal actually needs a comic or any form of link-story.

    But now we have one.

    Oh well, it’s pretty good anyway. ;)

  7. Bantu says:

    If anything this comic i hope its appearance in this comic will confirm the existence of an Excel minigame in Portal 2. I’m tired of only using it at work!

  8. clownst0pper says:

    I wonder how well Portal 2 will sell…

    • Cynic says:

      Pretty damn well, I’d assume. Try pondering something more difficult?

  9. Rii says:

    Not interested in the comic, but where’s the pre-load for Portal 2? Surely 99.5% of the code is frozen at this point.

    • evilbobthebob says:

      Yeah, I would really like a pre load ASAP otherwise I will be spending two or three days downloading it on my terrible home connection after the release date

  10. Talorc says:

    Thanks for linking to that site, I was trying to read the comic on IGN which is making out like it is the “official” site for the comic or something. and they have the most godawful interface to actually read the comic, like it is 1995 or something. I WANT A NEXT BUTTON TO HOVER OVER THE IMAGE NOW PLEASE

    Also, love the artwork for Chell, pretty obvious they adore the character :-)

    • Rii says:

      Back in the days when I actually visited IGN I was convinced that their website was deliberately designed to make CPUs cry. Sounds like not much has changed.

  11. Dachannien says:

    Surname redacted?

    I’m guessing it’s “Freeman”.

    Maybe Daddy meets up with her in HL2 Ep 3.

    • PFCskinner says:

      Could she possible be the daughter of Alyx and Gordon!?!? Dun Dun Dunnnnn!
      (probably not… :P)

    • Dachannien says:

      Okay, I checked the timeline and it wouldn’t work, since Portal was set shortly after the Combine invasion. But they could be brother and sister.

  12. byte_me says:

    Given he climbed into a cryo-chamber, it will be interesting to see if you come across Doug Rattman in-game.

    • Derk_Henderson says:

      I’m pretty sure hers was the only one he fixed. I think he crawled in there to die (also, I’m pretty sure official word is he’s dead by the start of Portal 2).

    • Wulf says:

      That’d be a shame, because that’s a character I’d very much like to get to know better.

  13. Wulf says:

    Also: Opportunities video #4 – Boots!

    link to

    • jetset says:

      You just made my DAY, I’m so excited after watching all of these videos!

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  15. kavika13 says:

    Probably just silly conspiracy theory, but…

    Ratman is Chell?