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Judge Parker and Rex Morgan, M.D., 12/13/17

It’s been just over a year since Woody Wilson handed over writing duties on Rex Morgan, M.D., and Judge Parker to his designated successors (Terry Beatty and Ces Marciuliano, respectively). The two strips weren’t identical before, but they had very similar vibes, and it’s been fascinating to watch them diverge. Like, remember that episode of the original Star Trek where Captain Kirk was split into a “good” but indecisive and ineffective half and an “evil” violent and audacious half? Something like that seems to be what’s happened to these two strips, and today’s dramas make for a good example. On the one hand, you have Judge Parker’s title character, a respected jurist and pillar of the community, being railroaded into helping break his assassin daughter-in-law out of prison and then flee into the murky underworld and leave his respectable life behind forever; on the other, you have some old people being just a little too nosy.

Mark Trail, 12/13/17

Oh, hey, we never did wrap up the story of Mark Trail and the bank robbers, did we? Sheriff What’s-His-Name has a bunch of paperwork to do, presumably after the bank robbers were shot “trying to escape,” and I now sincerely hope we get a solid three to six weeks of prairie dog counting. Tomorrow’s action: “One … two … three…”