Panel from Slylock Fox, 6/21/15
[briefly turns monitor upside down] Oh, the toad did it, did he, the short toad, because the pictures were taken close to the ground and only the toad is close to the ground … oh but wait, you know who else is close to the ground? Why, Max Mouse is, Max who magically “solved” this “crime,” who was able to find the camera so quickly, much to the swooning delight of his little mouse girlfriend. The toad stares ahead in shock, knowing that his innocence will be no defense against Slylock’s pull with the authorities; the bear glowers, seething at Slylock’s ability to use the punishing authority of the state to impress his girlfriend and fulfill his whims.
Dennis the Menace, 6/21/15
Dennis doesn’t appear to be adding any value to this chain of transactions by, say, managing the cheap labor he found, so I’m going to go ahead and deem him a labor arbitrageur and classify him as an economic menace.
Stan Lee is one of the co-creators of the Black Widow character, according to Wikipedia, and here he is apparently very interested in having sex with her! This is probably more revealing about the comics creative process than anyone involved really intended.
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.
As entertainment becomes more and more dominated by reboots and sequels of well-known franchises, moviemakers are encountering a real dilemma: is it worthwhile to spend significant portions of the first movie of a rebooted continuity covering the protagonist’s origin story? Can we assume that pretty much everyone already knows about the radioactive spider, great power great responsibility, Bonesaw is ready, etc., and just skip to the superheroics? Or are there still newbies out there who would end up baffled and alienated by this approach? Today’s Newspaper Spider-Man proposes a radical solution to this problem: simply start each new series with the main character explaining his background story to a Freudian analyst. Problem solved! Storytelling problem solved, I should say; Spider-Man’s deep and crippling emotional problems certainly aren’t going to be resolved in just one session.
Slylock Fox, 6/5/15
When this puzzle appeared in a Sunday strip in 2009, I mostly saw it is a convoluted trick by Grandpa to make his grandkids feel like jerks for not remembering his birthday. But now that we get a closer look at him — his stubble, his wild eyes — I’m getting a different vibe. A crazier vibe. A “last year was 72 and this year is 74 and you add the digits and you get 20 which is what the Illuminati invoke as a ‘triangular’ number” vibe.
Nice job, colorists: textual clues clearly indicate that those are supposed to be white stars on a blue background, the better to make American flag footwear for the Fourth, but by making them red you’ve turned our plugger child into a promoter of Godless Communism.
Apartment 3-G, 6/5/15
I know there are only two kinds of background in Apartment 3-G anymore — “dowdy mid-century apartment interior” and “mid-century New York City streetscape” — but a narration box in Wednesday’s strip said that Lu Ann and Mike’s gross flirting was happening “at the hotel.” But now suddenly there’s a knock on … some door? And Tommie’s arrived? And she’s keeping busy? And the background is different? WHERE IS EVERYONE WHAT’S GOING ON WHAT IS HAPPENING HELLLPPPP