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Judge Parker, 11/28/16

The characters in Judge Parker, who have spent the last few decades as the unquestioned lords and masters of all they survey, with people just handing them money and power for no good reason, have now been abruptly brought low by a series of tragic events. Frankly, we’ve all been so focused on Neddy’s factory disaster and Sophie’s kidnapping that we’ve neglected another damsel in distress: April, Judge Parker Junior’s CIA assassin wife, who actually vanished before the change of writers, after being sent to do One Last Job in Belgrade.

Anyway, Randy’s been pretty broken up about it, obviously, and today’s strip reminds us of a reality of the newly grim Parkerburg: our heroes are so emotionally bereft as to be incapacitated, but they’re still in charge, which means that vital decisions are going unmade. Look at that huge stack of paperwork! Randy hasn’t heard a case in weeks, which means probably there are some people in jail who have no idea if they’ll ever get to trial, or maybe some businesses in limbo because lawsuits they’re involved in can’t move forward. Is Randy a criminal or civil judge? Who even knows? The point is, he’s sad about his wife, and the rest of you people will have to wait.

Curtis, 11/28/16

Curtis’s dad is giving his son a crash course on what life is like in this fallen world, where a constant stream of resources are needed to extend the lives of anything, from an advertising agency to an apartment building to a human body. Of course, all this effort still won’t stave off your inevitable death, but that’s a story for another day!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/28/16

“Shhh, June, no. I know what you’re thinking, but it isn’t true. Sarah isn’t the way she is because you worked when she was a baby. She’s that way because we summoned her into existence via unholy, forbidden science! I swear to you we have the procedure refined now!”