The Phantom, 10/8/23
The Phantom is a comic strip first launched in 1936 about a lineage of white guys who’ve lived in Africa for hundreds of years and convinced the superstitious locals that they’ve been one immortal ghost that whole time, and while it’s made some good faith efforts of the years to get with the times, it’s not always what you might call “woke.” Like, for instance, it was a pretty big deal, back in the dark ages of 2008, when a waitress and a lady cop quit their jobs to join the Jungle Patrol, a formerly all-male paramilitary force that doesn’t believe in spirits but does take orders from a mysterious “Unknown Commander,” who happens to also be the Phantom. Anyway, it’s been 15 years now, so surely having female Jungle Patrollers is routine and acknowledged as helping create a stronger and more effective fighting force, right? Well, sure, until we get an appearance from a handsome fella like John X — who, to be clear, is once again, the Phantom, although he originally assumed that identity when he had some light amnesia. Anyway, he’s here now, he’s hot as hell, and he’s destroying unit cohesion because all the gals want to fuck him.
Beetle Bailey, 10/8/23
Beetle Bailey loves to add new characters to keep up with the “trends,” whether those trends are rock and roll music (Rocky) or the military being racially integrated (Lt. Flap), but I don’t think we’ve gotten a new one since Spc. Chip Gizmo arrived in 2002 as an admission that this “computer” stuff was here to stay. Anyway, now it’s 2023, and I’m not sure what it says about our current age that Beetle Bailey has decided to introduce a lovable child soldier character, but it can’t be good.
Barry has always been depicted as the smart one in this strip, but today achieves new stature as a prophet of the LORD, letting his family know that verily, all is vanity, we are all dust and to dust we shall return, and our brief time on this world mainly serves to amuse our Creator.