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Spider-Man, 5/11/13

After the serial failures of his high-tech missile, “hypno”-gas, and “adamantium” chains, Kingpin resorts to old-school methods of persuasion like threatening to stone-cold bash a woman’s face in. Spider-Man is quick to comply — but then, “not moving a muscle” is pretty much his core competence.

Dick Tracy, 5/11/13

So it looks like Dr. Sail here is reconstructing the actual Moon Maid (who died in a 1978 car crash), not just creating an imposter from scratch? This opens up a chance to revisit the action-packed Moon Strips of the 1960’s and 1970’s (the so-called “Dick Tracy Has Gone Totally Nuts” era). Does it also signal complications for Moon Maid’s nominal widower Junior Tracy, who got re-married (to Sparkle Plenty) after his first wife’s death?

Ha! As recently as two years ago (the “Late Bonkers” era), Dick Tracy would have resolved such petty conflicts by having a beloved character burned, crushed, blown up, brain-wiped, dismembered, or (my favorite) eaten. But how will the new Team Tracy handle it?

Perhaps the answer lies with the Moon-obsessed siblings introduced here. Stellaluna, named for a cute bat from a kids’ book, is probably OK. But I would keep an eye on Retik, ominously named for Commander Cody’s nemesis (“Retik, the Moon Menace”) in the classic 1952 serial Radar Men from the Moon. Will this new Retik re-kill a reanimated Moon Maid, saving Junior Tracy from inconvenience? Stay tuned!

Hey, Retik: if you’re short on ideas, I’m pretty sure “suffocated in the vacuum of space” and “vaporized by a meteor” are still available. Just sayin’.

Gasoline Alley, 5/11/13

Hm, Gasoline Alley supercentenarian Walt Wallet is hanging out at the “Comics Retirement Home” with characters like these from discontinued old-timey strips, leading one to think he might, I dunno, retire or something? Except that we’ve already been down this road, in 2006, and it came to nothing.

C’mon guys, it’s time to pull the trigger — this routine will only get even more embarrassing if you have to do it again in another seven years, when Walt is 120.

Funky Winkerbean, 5/11/13

Aw, look at Darin’s adorable pissy face! Do you suppose he broke his jaw trying not to smirk?

Hey, I’m subbing while Josh takes a break through Sunday May 19 — reach me at if you have access or comment issues. Enjoy!

— Uncle Lumpy