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Dick Tracy, 2/1/16

The old Dick Tracy, by which I mean the relatively recent Dick Tracy of the ’00s as written and drawn by Dick Locher, was insanely violent. Villains were killed via fire, explosion, vicious dogs, mind erasure, bulldozer, suffocation or burns or however you die from falling head first into a smokestack, and, perhaps most memorably, via rats, lots and lots of hungry rats. Am I saying that I’m sad that the new creative team has for the most part toned down the carnage? Mostly no, but a little yes. And the little part of me that’s yes is particularly disappointed that this new storyline suddenly involves a cop who “does undercover work regarding music copyright infringement,” which sounds like the dorkiest form of undercover police work possible. “Hey, fellow teens, my names John Springstein — no relationship to Bruce, ha ha, because it’s spelled differently! Speaking of which, you guys know where I can illegally download some MP3s from Tunnel of Love?’ “Don’t worry,” one of the teens whispers to the others, “we can trust him. Only a real desperate character would wear that vest.”

Six Chix, 2/1/16

“Hey, that’s my phone! And that’s a pigeon and a rat, once one of the most common species in existence, now extinct after that supernova destroyed the Earth! Scientists decided not to bring any live specimens on the vast spaceship where we live now, which will carry our descendents to the Sirius system over the next several centuries. And since there are communications panels every ten meters or so in the corridors where we’ll spend the rest of our days, we don’t need phones anymore, either!”

Beetle Bailey, 2/1/16

You know who else saw from the top of a mountain that he could be king of the world but then rejected that power? Jesus Christ. Just something to think about. Not saying that Beetle Bailey is the Messiah, but, you know, not saying he isn’t, either.