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Today’s comics prove that the right weapon can nurture a relationship’s fragile beginning, extend its blissy peak, or bring it to a swift, bitter end — let’s see how!

The Phantom, 3/19/10

Here, Ghost-Who-Walks and Captain-Who-Stalks enjoy a rousing round of armaments-themed flirting. It won’t be long before those torpedo doors fly open, the heavy ordinance rumbles from its below-decks shotlocker, and a gleaming projectile slides its way all snug up inside that smokin’ hot barrel.

Next: BOOM!, a shared cigarette, and lounging around in purple bathrobes.

Beetle Bailey, 3/19/10

Poor Major Greenbrass’s wistful longing for General Halftrack glows soft as a candle beside Sarge’s white-hot torch for Beetle. But still, when stirred by the roar of massed air and ground forces, the Major manages to gin up a heroic narrative exalting his beloved’s pathetic shortcomings to the grand scale of epic failures by history’s other insecure, tyrannical, nutjob runt.

Apartment 3-G, 3/19/10

Drug-addled, vengeance-crazed, and Papagoras-blather-benumbed, Bobbie nevertheless understands illegal commerce better than her mugger-turned-gun-dealer pal! Let’s go over the basics for him:

  • Muggers have the upper hand in their transactions; salespeople don’t. Customers won’t cower like your victims did.
  • People buy untraceable guns specifically to commit crimes; some of them will get caught. Therefore, do not create traceable associations with your customers!
  • This specifically means do not accompany customers into banks, lest you be photographed together. ProTip — wearing a hoodie into a bank will not help you escape attention.
  • Don’t confuse your customer by asking why you should trust her: your profession is founded on mistrust. And what’s the worry? That she’ll give you someone else’s cash? Seriously, even if she bails on you, you’re out what — busfare?
  • Think ahead: once you give her the gun, why shouldn’t she mug you for her money back? This is Margo’s insane evil stepmother we’re talking about, right?

Mary Worth, 3/19/10

Alas, sometimes the love is real but the artillery only a reader’s earnest fantasy. Could anything less than murder avenge the months of graceless frolicking, the arid Marylessness, and the interminable sandwichery we’ve endured for a payoff as insipid as, “I learned fatherhood from a man who was not my father.” I swear, we had better get a pool party out of this mess.

Speaking of messes, you have to credit the hilarious squalor of the life Kurt fled and now reëmbraces. Bare lath on every wall, mirror cracked in ways mirrors don’t crack, every picture and doorframe askew. Kurt looks glad to see his pregnant girlfriend, though. He must not know the child is Wilbur’s.

Spider-Man, 3/19/10

Yak yak yak ogle yak yak yak yak yak. This is like 9 Chickweed Lane, with bigger chins and less actual fighting.

Crankshaft, 3/19/10

Pam’s pinchlipped scorn gives way to shock that her husband is as big a douche as her father, and that her creators still have no idea how to set up a joke — except for the cruel one they inflict on her, day after endless day.

Hey, Josh is off on vacation out in scenic Undisclosed Location; I’m subbing for the week. If you have site issues, please contact me at — to reach Josh personally, try but expect a wait.

— Uncle Lumpy