Ah ha, our new Newspaper Spider-Man plot is under way, and its antagonist is … Ronan, The Accuser! This is as good an opportunity as any for me to remind you that, despite the fact that I have made my name as a “comics guy” and have a love of Mary Worth and Mark Trail veering into dangerously unironic territory, I find most superhero comics extremely dopey, not least because they feature villains named things like “Ronan, The Accuser,” (and sorry, purists, I have decided that comma is a canonical part of his name and will be using it in every reference from now on). As moronic as Ronan, The Accuser seems and as dumb as his conflict with Spider-Man will inevitably be, at least you have to respect the franchise-driven media marketing strategy that brought him to newspapers everywhere. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is coming out in a mere, uh, six months, and so we need to start building buzz now for when Ronan, The Accuser squares off against Peter Quill and our other heroes, just like he did in the first film, where they defeated him and he … uh … died? So he won’t be in the sequel? Man, Newspaper Spider-Man never misses an opportunity to not be useful in any way.
Haha, check out how grotesquely smug Jeff looks in panel three, because the only part of his life he has in order is strong-arming his wife into getting a job! This is some extremely relatable content right here. Marvin: come for the poop jokes, stay for the economic anxiety expressed through marital discomfort!
I am really enjoying JJJ’s world-weary expression in panel three here. It takes a lot of emotional energy pretending that it isn’t super obvious that Peter Parker and Spider-Man are the same person, you know? Like, Jonah may be a blowhard, but he’s not a moron. He just likes getting those Spider-Man pictures. The Spider-Man pictures sell papers, and he loves selling papers. The whole “SPIDER-MAN: THREAT OR MENACE?” pose was probably sincere, once, but now it’s a key part of his shtick, and he can’t give it up. It’s exhausting performing Comically Gruff Newsman all the time, guys. Exhausting. Just let him have a minute here.
Funky Winkerbean, 11/21/16
Hey guys, remember how our gang tracked down Starbuck Jones serial star Cliff Anger, and found out that, true to his name, he used to star in cliffhangers and also was angry all the time? Well, if you wanted some background on his perpetually steamed emotional state, good news: we’re about to get some fun anecdotes about how he’s super mad because his prison term derailed his movie career, or maybe about how he went to prison because of some act of violence driven by his uncontrollable temper. Either way, his new girlfriend seems drawn to his irrepressible bad boy nature.
Slylock Fox, 11/21/16
It’s really gotta disappoint Slylock to waste his time on human-on-human crime like this. This once-great species should be retraining and adapting to the new sentient beast-focused economy, not nonproductively stealing each other’s meager savings. Personally, I blame their culture: look at the media they consume, all full of violent power fantasies. Sad!
Marvin and Mother Goose and Grimm, 11/21/16
This Thanksgiving, let’s all give thanks for our wives. Wives, am I right? They’re, uh, bad? This seems … off message, but I guess it’s what we’re going with.
Yeah, uh, so, I didn’t mention it yesterday, but yesterday’s Marvin included Jeff’s mom telling him that his father was … back from the dead? I think my initial questions would be more general than Jeff’s, along the lines of “What?” and “How?” and “How are you dealing with this emotionally?” and “What kind of back-from-the-dead scenario are we talking about here, like a ghost, or a zombie, or a vampire, or a Frankenstein’s monster, or what?” But I don’t want to tell other people how to feel their feelings, so if Jeff wants to be all “His corpse, what was in my father’s coffin if not his CORPSE,” I support his emotional journey.
Mark Trail, 11/15/16
Oh, man, it looks like we misjudged that mean scary boar from a couple of weeks ago! He wasn’t mean or scary at all; he was just trying to get the hell off this exploding island, just like Mark and Abbey are. Too bad his species never developed boats, helicopters, emergency radios, or Coast Guards! Sucks to be him!
Mary Worth, 11/15/16
Welp, unlike Iris, Dawn definitely does not give a shit that Wilbur is leaving town for a year. “Sounds great! I’m loving life! This just gives me more opportunities to lounge around the house in my pinstriped pajamas and eat cookies! Hey, more cookies for me while you’re gone, you know? [cookie-eating noises]”
Do you think the bird-men of Shoe view festooning oneself with simulated mammalian hair — and leaving oneself open to the parasites specific to it — with particular disgust? That might explain why the Perfesser has blown right past the usual Goggle Eyes Of Horror straight into the Manic Grin Of Desperately Trying To Make A Joke Of This.