Funky Winkerbean, 3/4/15
Here’s a confession: despite my boldly assuming the title “the Comics Curmudgeon” back in 2004, I got into this gig entirely from reading newspaper comics and haven’t read the much more popular genre of comic books with any regularity since I was about 10 or so. Nevertheless, I feel like I’ve absorbed a certain amount of information about the business by cultural osmosis, and thus I feel confident in saying that it’s completely believable that some comics publisher would want to take a zany character from the ’60s or ’70s called “The Amazing Mister Sponge” and do a “dark,” “gritty,” “edgy,” “relevant” reboot of him, with the hope of convincing a studio to turn it into a murky movie where everyone is sad all the time. I draw the line at Doctor Centipede, though. You don’t get to call yourself “Doctor Centipede” unless you’re actually a freakish being with dozens of legs protruding from your multiple body segments (and also have either a medical degree or a PhD in one of the hard sciences). Just being a hundred times smarter and stronger than usual? Not okay. The “pede” stands for foot, buddy. How much of this guy’s time is spent snippily justifying his nom de supervillainy? “No, see, the hundred limbs in this conceit are metaphors for the power I wield thanks to my enhanced str–” [is absorbed by The Amazing Mister Sponge]
In even dumber superhero news, Spider-Man has been saved by a timely faked Skype call! That’s the best way to get a hold of your wife on a movie set, straight-up Skype-calling some random laptop that you hope is vaguely nearby, probably. You certainly wouldn’t want to call her on, say, the cell phone she’s holding in panel three. While this cheap trick obviously hasn’t fooled Mysterio, it will probably fool everyone else, because they’re morons, which I kind of love. Everyone will just be all like, “Welp, I guess we’ll never know who Spider-Man really is” and Mysterio will shout “You fools! I just told you! It’s Peter Parker!” and everyone will say “Ha ha, but there was a Skype call!” I also love that even in his entirely justified rage, Mysterio stays on-brand and keeps referring to himself in the third person.
Mary Worth, 3/4/15
“Kids adapt and trust the flow of life more than grown-ups do! Why, the thought of having to baby-sit on short notice makes me fly into a rage, but Gordon is totally fine with suddenly having two new men in his life that he’s been ordered to address as ‘dad’ and ‘granddad!'”
Judge Parker, 3/4/15
Were you worried that this strip wasn’t spending enough time on Neddy Spencer’s burgeoning sexuality and what older, volatile men think of her? Well, the next six to eight uncomfortable weeks are for you, my friend!