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Gil Thorp, 1/12/10

Say, let’s catch up with Steve Luhm, the promising young man who decided to turn his back on his college career and become a high school janitor! Why would an obviously clever person do such a thing? Today, we learn that Steve is looking for easy access to high school girls, who he wrongheadedly believes will be impressed when he superciliously corrects their basic geography mistakes. Sure, Steve, rub the back of your head bashfully if you will, but you’re obviously hoping that your easy command of body-of-water nomenclature will somehow compensate for your lack of earning power and social status and get you at least to second base with sexy vest girl there. Let me assure you right now that it will not.

One might forgive Steve if he is genuinely the compulsive geographer that he claims. The chances that anybody, even in the “halls of academe,” would be having a dismissive conversation about various seas are extremely low, and this might be the only chance he has to strut his stuff. But I’m thinking it’s more the terribly-awkward-advance thing.

Spider-Man, 1/12/10

Like Spider-Man himself, I’m pretty disoriented by today’s Spider-Man strip. Not only is our hero being abruptly forced in mid-banter to engage in actual heroics, but there wasn’t even any elaborate set-up establishing the extremely low stakes in this conflict. Will this battle somehow reduce Peter Parker’s already low income, which he doesn’t really need anyway because his wife is a movie star? Will it reveal his secret identity to his Aunt May, who probably already actually knows? Will it embarrass him in the press? Will it interfere with his enjoyment of NBC’s Thursday-night lineup?

I’m assuming that the radiating black lines in panel two represent tingling spider-sense, in which case said sense is even less useful than I have hitherto imagined it. Note that Spidey encountered Sabertooth when the former was idly web-slinging around town, only to be abruptly punched in the chest by the latter. If his sense of prescience is only firing off now, as a giant mutant with razor-sharp claws is verbally threatening to kill him while actually lunging at him, I’d have to imagine that this supposed super-power is more distracting than anything else.

Curtis, 1/12/10

Credit where credit is due: “I’m, like, the black Greg Louganis of ice skating” is extremely funny. I’m a little concerned that Curtis appears to have lost a finger on his gloved hand between panels one and two, however.