Mark Trail, 2/25/05
You know, when you go on a long trip, manage feuding love interests, fight artifact smugglers, get knocked unconscious and left for dead by vicious drug-dealing taxidermist/veterinarian duos, and dribble water all over the place for hours on end in defiance of all known laws of fluid dynamics, when you come home, you just want to take off your electric blue sports jacket and relax. You certainly don’t want to deal with the fact that your adopted son has come down with a bad case of hydrocephaly, with his right arm withering to a freakish stump to boot. God damn it, Doc, we leave the kid alone with you for … um, how long has it been exactly? Feels like about a year and a half. Assuming that the freaky little bastard hasn’t become a hideous mutant and that the third panel isn’t supposed to give the reader a window into Mark’s PCP-distorted worldview, I’m guessing that it’s supposed to depict Rusty running headlong towards his returning family members. Though it may very well be the PCP thing.
By the way, Mark’s “Bill is a smart man” comment is probably the single cattiest thing that’s ever been uttered in this strip. Seeing as Mark used to date her too, its implications become more alarming the more I think about it. “Bill’s probably just using her for sex … you know, like, I did … um, wait, did I say that last part out loud?”