I’ve been watching the new Daredevil TV show on Netflix, which I enjoy, despite the fact that Vincent D’Onofrio works to bring out Kingpin’s human side instead of going into full-on “Faster! Work faster!” mode. One thing I find mildly irritating is how coy the dialogue is about who these people are, though: they never actually call Kingpin by that name, and, even though the show takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they only refer to other superheroes obliquely. At one point a character says “maybe if I had an iron suit or a magic hammer…”; how the actor resisted winking hammily at the camera at that point is beyond me. Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that I absolutely love this name-dropping cabbie and I hope he gets his own MCU spin-off series where he just blabs about superheroes and supervillains he’s had in his cab to non-super passengers displaying varying levels of disinterest. “Dr. Doom? They call him a menace to humanity, but in my experience he’s nice guy, good tipper. Doesn’t like take the Deegan — always thinks he knows a shortcut, which never quite works out, but hey, if you’re paying, you’re the boss, is my attitude.”
The Phantom, 6/11/15
One of the slow-boiling plots in the Phantom involves the fact being the Phantom means siring a new Phantom every generation, but the current model managed to actually father twins, and also we live in the 21st century where women can be superheroes, so which of the kids is going to be the next Phantom? This could be the rationale for the Ghost Who Parents Remotely “accidentally” leaving his phone on while he takes care of business, as soon he’ll figure out if either of them is comfortable enough with a little mild extrajudicial torture to follow in his footsteps.
Beetle Bailey, 6/3/15
Hey, remember back in the ’90s, when General Halftrack got sent to sensitivity training due to his nonstop sexual harassment of Miss Buxley? Well, you’d think they would’ve covered the fact that inviting an underling who you want to sleep with to a social “group outing” that when she shows up turns out to just be for the two of you is a classic harasser move.
The Phantom seems to have some interesting priorities when it comes to stealth. He cares enough about it to hang around in full Phantom disguise gear in friend’s dark apartment; on the other hand, he’s just going to casually pick up his friend’s landline and make a call to his kids’ satellite jungle phone, which will presumably (a) be quite expensive and (b) leave a paper trail on his friend’s phone bill. (Also, I’m assuming that “friend” here is a euphemism for “criminal I plan to intimidate by lurking in his darkened apartment until he arrives home,” which is all the more reason he shouldn’t be gabbing on the phone when the dude gets there, probably.)
Gil Thorp, 6/3/15
“Did I know what with the who now? C’mon, I thought I had weeks until the part of the season where I had to pay attention to things!”
Judge Parker, 5/12/15
Oh hey, remember when Rocky and Godiva got into a big fight, and made up, by sexing into the next morning? Well, surprise, they weren’t doing anything as hedonistic and human as sex, silly. Nope, they’ve been working hard on Rocky’s book, shaping a lurid narrative that will exploit their tabloid fame and further line their pockets! Presumably this book will rocket up the nonfiction best-seller list and stay there for as long as the Chambers Affair tops the fiction list, i.e., roughly until the heat death of the universe. Neddy is smiling because she knows that, as the representative of the Spencer-Driver clan in closest physical proximity to this profitable enterprise, she’s the one they’re going to hand the undeservedly large check to.
Rex Morgan, M.D., 5/12/15
Meanwhile, in Judge Parker’s sister strip, little Sarah has figured out what art is for: profit! The sad truth is that Sarah’s paintings of horsies or school buses or whatever the hell it is she ends up actually producing are probably going to sell better than 95% of the work of contemporary serious artists. So, you know, get it while you can, kid!
Mark Trail, 5/12/15
Oh, goodie! It looks like one of Mark and Wally’s problems (tree-devouring beetles) is about to be solved by another one of their problems (an out-of-control forest fire)! But — who will Mark punch? He’s gotta punch someone, right? Can he punch the O. Henrician dramatic irony that has left him without an antagonist?
Huh, the family that’s the end result of 21 generations of racially pure inbreeding and dedicated to enforcing its own version of morality, eschewing the authority of any state and creating its own mythic cult, isn’t super big on democracy! IMAGINE THAT.