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Spider-Man, 9/7/06

When we last checked in with the web-slinger, he had just been knocked unconscious by a sinister butler. Since then, I have refrained from commenting on the various indignities this strip has visited upon its readership. When the murderous manservant drove out to a cliff where he had somehow prearranged a camera set-up to record his snuff film, I stayed silent. When Spider-Man spent an entire strip being held at gunpoint claiming in his thought balloons that he couldn’t move without endangering the suddenly not-evil Narna, then moved out of the way the very next day, I said not a word. When Narna tried to save our hero by flinging an enormous rock, only to hit him in the back of the head — despite the fact that, in the panel where she threw the rock, Spidey was facing towards her — I held my tongue.

But this — this — cannot stand. Here we have crimes not just against logic and good sense, but a violation of some of the core rules of this genre, in which we expect the villain to be defeated, in one sense or another, by the hero, and not to be rubbed out by his own incompetence as the hero lies groggy on the ground, felled by one of his allies. I’ll bet the writers think that this is ironic. It is not ironic. The introduction and then immediate solving of a problem in last year’s loathsome health insurance storyline was bad enough, but this is an abomination that cannot be so easily forgiven. I damn thee, Spider-Man! I damn thee to superhero hell in the name of the unwritten but well-understood contract between author and reader! Anathema, anathema!

Apartment 3-G, 9/7/06

Beer! Is there anything it can’t do? Beer looks like it’s about to get Tommie laid, which would make it the most powerful substance on earth.

Now, you and I both know that Tommie isn’t going to get laid, of course. No doubt right as Ted is about to make his drunken move, Lucy’s going to show up, begging for forgiveness, and either she’ll see the two of them together and further sitcom-style complications will ensue, or they’ll suddenly realize how foolish they’ve been and start macking right there in front of our poor forlorn redhead; or, even if Lucy stays in whatever adulterous love nest she’s been in for the past few months, Tommie will suddenly have an attack of righteousness and head on back to her cold, lonely bed in Apartment 3-G. So, no nookie for Tommie. But it won’t be beer’s fault.

Judge Parker, 9/7/06

Yeah, so I take back what I said before. I don’t think the glassy-eyed Abbey wants Raju to kiss her. I now think she’s just really, really high.

Pluggers, 9/7/06

So, you’re a Plugger if, uh, you’re forever haunted by the icy specter of death? Does Pluggers have any gears other than “smug” and “depressing?”