Let’s be real, guys: the “relative strength of a spider” aspect of Spider-Man’s origin story has always been kinda dopey, right? I mean, there’s a whole bunch of inverse-square-law problems with this, which equally apply to Ant-Man, who was launched by Marvel Comics in 1962, just like Spider-Man. I guess it was a banner year for bug-men in the comics? Bug-men with bug-strength? Anyhoo, it’s nice to imagine that these costumed morons themselves have only the vaguest understanding of what their abilities really entail and how they work, so it’s very exciting to me to see Spider-Man declare that he can defeat a spider with his spider-strength, only for him to be immediately pinned by its monstrous spider-jaws (the relative jaws of a spider) and then killed by the actual spider’s deadly spider-venom (the relative venom of a spider, which you think would come in handy for a superhero, but no, just keep working that “strength” angle, guys).
Six Chix, 10/25/16
One of the more unsettling visual tropes that has been fully absorbed into the collective comics unconsciousness is “trees and fire hydrants are the equivalent of bathrooms to talking comic-strip dogs!” I feel like people love to play with the implications of this joke but lose touch with its origins which lie in the fact that dogs like to pee on said objects. This, I think, is the case here: probably the tire swing is just supposed to represent “what would a really tricked out tree look like,” but now I can’t stop thinking about how dogs maybe like to pee on tires? Or, like, through the hole in the middle of tires? Because they like the challenge, or something?
Dennis the Menace, 10/25/16
A year after the Great Agricultural Collapse, Alice and Henry are still gamely pushing forward, sculpting their daily ration of Nutrient Slurry into a cake-shaped pile in an attempt to remember what it used to be like in the Time of Plenty. Dennis is having none of it. Dennis’s refusal to keep a stiff upper lip in the endless dystopia is a genuine menace to humanity’s ability to cope.
Buns of Steel — you remember: Alaska fitness entrepreneur Greg Smithey, VCR tape, 1987? Thirty years ago? Inherently funny. I mean, “buns,” heh, that’s comedy gold amirite. So, are we done here? Draw it up and publish — just be sure to put a big butt in there somewhere.
Judge Parker, 10/16/16
THINK, NEDDY, THINK!
THAT NEWS LADY WILL TRY TO PIN THIS ALL ON YOU.
CHEATING THE OLDS. LOCKING THEM IN STEEL BOXES. BRIBING THE BUILDING INSPECTOR.
WAIT, HERE’S HANK.
♫ “Hi, Hank!” ♪
THIS WAS ALL HANK’S IDEA. WASN’T IT? YES IT WAS. HE USED ME. THE BRUTE.
♫ “Thanks, Hank — ‘Bye!” ♪
SAY, I WONDER IF MARK STILL WANTS TO GET MARRIED? HONG KONG SOUNDS PRETTY SWEET RIGHT NOW.
Next to their endless faux-clever dialogue while they “battle,” the thing that annoys me most about superheros is the ham-handed logic used to get them out of jams. The conceit here is that the reformulated shrink-gas that took away Ant-Man’s “powers of a man” affected only Spider-Man’s man-strength, leaving his spider-strength untouched so the joke’s on you Egghead a.k.a. Elihas Starr, nemesis of the first Ant-Man Hank Pym and the second Ant-Man Scott Lang. But hey waitaminute – if that long-ago bite gave Peter a spider’s proportionate strength, shouldn’t shrinking leave him with the actual strength of — a spider? So splot, right?
Algebra is hard. I think Egghead’s chosen the right approach here.
— Uncle Lumpy
Superhero comic trufans (of which I am not one, but I hear things) know that each iteration of a long-running beloved character, in different continuities across various media platforms, has slight variations when it comes to the nature of their powers. What, then, can we say about Newspaper Spider-Man when it comes to his famous spider-sense? We know it can’t warn him about some pretty important things he might like to know about, like that he’s about to be hit in the back of the head with a club or a brick. So what is it good for? Well, keep in mind that Newspaper Spider-Man is both a risible dolt and keenly sensitive to anything he might perceive as humiliation (earning less than his wife, a famous actress, for instance). And so, today, it’s finally coming out that Spidey and Ant-Man have been captured because Peter knew Egghead was out to catch Scott, and then went and tracked him down anyway. He knows that everyone’s gonna start yelling at him soon, and he deserves it, and his spider-sense is going nuts.
Gil Thorp, 10/13/16
Traditionally, soap opera strips end on a cliff-hanger every day to keep readers hooked. Unfortunately, it’s harder and harder to work this magic on young people, what with their Snapchats and so forth, so now Gil Thorp is experimenting by ending strips dramatically in mid-sentence.
Pluggers have so many emotions and nobody they feel safe expressing them to :(