title: Potential; alt-text: "The bunch of disadvantaged kids I was tutoring became too good at writing, and their essays were forcing me to confront painful existential questions, so I started trying to turn them on to drugs and crime instead."
(Did you ever notice that if you inspect the "img" element for these comics the "title" property contains the alt text and the "alt" property contains the title of the comic. I have, and it nearly causes me physical pain to label them wrong... but I suppose I have to stick with convention.)
If the execution didn't hurt so much I would likely have GOOMHRed at this one... at least ironically.
I was one of those kids who teachers always often used the "not working at your full potential" type of comments on. I was bright and clever and showed talent for many things and engaged in the classroom but then ended up getting mediocre grades. One time I worked out the math on the value of assignments in a "computer" course and got a perfect mark on the six assignments I wanted to do and just completely skipped the four I didn't... 60% was a C.
Now Randall here is either mocking me for believing that I ever had potential in the first place or giving me permission for having been a slacker because the world couldn't have handled me if I'd been motivated. The hover-text seems to be an indictment of the educational system for failing to help students meet their potencial or a nihilistic acceptance of the validity of said practice because thinking citizens tend to rebel when The Man tries to put them down. Hey... at least the comic made me think... so that's something.
But this brings me to the actual comic. Without the GOOMHR there's no funny in the comic itself. Framing the question of unmet potential as "they complain if you don't but complain more if you do" is pretty bland as a set up and punchline if you are not the kind of person who has failed to meet their potential and has come to terms with it. The giant robot isn't really a surprise because the lack of anything engaging in the first two panels makes the comic read as:
See comic as a whole:I will grant that elements of this comic entertained me... but the execution, taken as a whole, kinda falls flat.
Think - "Hey, a giant robot, I wonder what that's about?"
Read: When teachers complain, "You're not working at your full potential!"
Think - "Heh, if all the slackers who think they are geniuses were as smart as they think they are and actually met their narcissistic expectations, the world would be full of super-villains with giant war machines."
Read rest of comic: "Don't take it to hard, they complain way more when you do."
Think - "Uhm... was that the joke?"
Read alt-text: "The bunch of disadvantaged kids I was tutoring became too good at writing, and their essays were forcing me to confront painful existential questions, so I started trying to turn them on to drugs and crime instead."
Think - "Uhm... what?"