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Dick Tracy, 7/6/10

Two men have already died by gunfire in this Dick Tracy storyline, but any hardcore fan of the strip will tell you that such mundane deaths are totally inadequate. Today the villainous Anja Nu meets her end in a fashion that, if not grimly ironic (unless it turns out that she’s unhinged because she was raised by her grandfather, a Nazi fighter pilot/war criminal), is at least gruesome. One might have hoped that Dick would have found some reason to start the plane’s motor so that Nu’s body would be ground to hamburger by the spinning propeller, rather than just crushed to pulp, but I think we’ve achieved the acceptable bare minimum for Dick Tracy carnage.

Apartment 3-G, 7/6/10

Ha ha, Tommie’s pit of embarrassment just keeps getting deeper and deeper. Who are the mysterious Ted and Lucy? Well, they were the “perfect couple” who started the Margo finger-quoting craze four years ago. Then Tommie caught Lucy making out with some dude from her poetry group (with “poetry group” obviously meaning “a Craigslist casual encounters ad”), and Tommie and Ted decided to try out this adultery thing to see what all the fuss was about, with hilariously awkward results. Last we heard they had reconciled, and now we see that they’re still together; apparently they’ve come to this makeover ambush to reinforce the mutual contempt for Tommie that now keeps their marriage together.

Tommie doesn’t have a choice; her answer has to be yes. Tommie never chooses anything. Tommie just lets what happens to her happen.

Herb and Jamaal, 7/6/10

Rev. Croom’s congregation, which all the Herb and Jamaal characters seem to attend, is always thinking obsessively about the afterlife, all the time. We know that the Reverend has told Herb in confidence that his unredeemably sinful soul is destined for eternal and fiery torment, and today we see that the cycle of theological cruelty is perpetuated through the family. (Herb probably doesn’t realize that his mother-in-law already knows she is damned, though that just makes his jibe all the crueler.)