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Dick Tracy, 7/6/12

So the new Dick Tracy writer-artist team of Joe Stanton and Mike Curtis have been on the job for more than a year now, and I haven’t been discussing the strip here as often as I did in its previous iteration, mostly because the art is pretty good and the plots are no longer marked by incomprehensible dream-like lunacy punctuated by horrific violence. If I have one major criticism, it’s that so much of the plots seem to have been aimed at assembling all of the strip’s classic villains into one overarching criminal syndicate, which has gotten a bit tiresome to those of us not up on eighty years of Tracy lore. But over the past few week’s the assembled baddies have been caught up in an epic gunfight as Tracy and the cops bust in to make arrests, with a fair amount of carnage ensuing.

Which makes me wonder — what if the last 15 months have just been carefully putting all the pieces of the storied Dick Tracy rogues gallery in place just so they can all be killed in a crazed, botched police raid? And then the new team can say “Ha ha, this strip is ours now, we’re going to make up all sorts of new crazies?” Probably won’t happen, but it would amuse me. Plus I kind of want to see this Indonesian action film called The Raid about a police raid on a huge gang-controlled high-rise tower that goes horribly wrong (here’s the trailer, but be warned that it’s crazy violent) but in practice I probably don’t have the stomach for that much movie violence so maybe this Dick Tracy is as close as I’m going to actually tolerate.

Judge Parker, 7/6/12

Wow, for once things are not going right for our wealthy Judge Parker heroes! They’re being tailed by marijuana farming hoodlums, their fishing lodge is a dump, their reservations never went through, and the proprietress is going to assault them with a hammer at any moment. Don’t worry, though, there are still breasts, so the world makes some sort of sense.

Mark Trail, 7/6/12

If you need more evidence that Mark Trail plots are recycled from another era, imagine a contemporary American parent sending their child (or hideously ugly ward, in this case) off into the wilderness to go take some pictures of sheep. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of it, because children need to learn more self-reliance than this modern crop is picking up, plus “Rusty in danger” plots are extremely hilarious.

Apartment 3-G, 7/6/12

“So, it’s completely safe, when competent people do it, but it’ll be really dangerous with me in charge. Lemme just scan the entry for it on WebMD and then let’s get started!”