Archive: Mark Trail

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 7/19/17

This strip has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but one constant that I appreciate is that Rex is always being a smug dick about something. “Oh, sorry, June. Edgar Rice Burroughs. It’s his initials. E-R-B, get it? I thought you were up on your classic pulp sci-fi. But I guess I didn’t marry you for your literary taste, am I right? Ha ha! Margie, your husband, who I’m almost certainly about to learn ran off and left you in dire emotional and financial straits, sounds like a real cool guy. Where my ERB-heads at?” (Wait till Rex finds out that little Johncarter was named not after the Barsoom series of books, which his father never read, but after the 2012 film, which was a spectacular flop.)

Mark Trail, 7/19/17

OH SNAP it looks like I was right about the hostage lady being one of the bad guys! This is a solid twist AND gave us the chance to see Agent McHairisland’s complete shock and surprise. What do you suppose this was about, then? Did our fake hostage just need some time to get into character? Is she known across the whole Midwest as the “Method” Bank Heistrix?

Gil Thorp, 7/19/17

Speaking of things I was right about, I guess I was right about this being Heather and Kevin from last football season! But weren’t they seniors last year? Is it really still summer? Are these tall dudes emissaries from an alien species who hope to harness Kevin and Heather’s on-Earth skills for use in a long-running interstellar war, à la 1984’s hit film The Last Starfighter, but for jocks? WHAT’S GOING ON

Mary Worth, 7/19/17

We all know the greatest Mary Worth plots begin with Mary working in her rose garden, so I have great hope for this one. Someone gave Dawn a job, guys! What a terribly misguided decision, which I hope we’ll see acted out in graphic and comical detail over the next several months!

Hi and Lois, 7/19/17

Traditionally this strip has featured an adorable and loving relationship between the infant Trixie and her pal the sunbeam, and I have to say I’m not on board for this gritty reboot. “I’M NOT GOING TO BE IGNORED, TRIXIE” –literally the sun

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Gil Thorp, 7/17/17

Oh, man, it looks like I stopped paying attention to Gil Thorp back in, uh, May? We all learned some valuable lessons about how domestic abuse is bad but also it’s possible to construct an elaborate narrative scenario that makes someone seem like a domestic abuser when they really weren’t, so don’t jump to conclusions, but also you shouldn’t let anger get the best of you or pretend to like some girl just because your friend likes her friend. Anyway, baseball’s over and now we’re coming to … football? Ugh, remember when Gil Thorp used to do delightfully insane summer storylines, like Coach Kaz moonlighting as a rock star’s bodyguard or Marty Moon getting grifted at golf or Gil wrestling a possibly senile old pro wrestler, for charity? Anyway, this year’s football plot actually looks a lot like last one, when an ex-trainer turned unpaid assistant football coach helped a goofy linebacker (?) who wanted to be a quarterback but who was extremely bad at it get marginally better at it, but never actually play a meaningful down. Anyway, are these … the same people? Does Kevin want to be a fullback now? Who are the tall Watchers cooly and dispassionately observing them from the stands? Are we gonna get a fucking bonfire this year or what?

Mark Trail, 7/17/17

There was a brief moment when I thought we were about to have a big reveal where the lady we’ve thought was a hostage this whole time was actually a member of the gang, but, nope, she was already tied up and gagged while Baldy McBankrobberboss was talking to another criminal associate, which, whatever happened to that guy, anyway? But the important thing is that I find it 100% plausible that these two FBI dudes spent hours staring at video footage of a bank robbery and thinking “There’s something off about this robber, who must be a man because bank robbing is something men, not women, do. But what it is it? Can’t put my finger on it, let’s send it to the nerds down in Analysis and see what they come up with.”

Spider-Man, 7/17/17

I’m not an expert in How Hollywood Works or anything, but I’m finding a studio flack telling an actress “thank God you weren’t killed in that freak armadilloid attack that destroyed half of Brentwood, because we need you at a junket in San Francisco right away!” to be extremely believable.

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Mark Trail, 7/10/17

Ahhhh, finally we get the payoff to this long story of the Great Water-World Disaster, a delightful panel depicting our wayward walrus giving birth in the shattered, water-logged shell of a formerly high-prestige sport utility vehicle. Given Mark’s previous downplaying of the disastrous nature of this episode, you’d think that he’d be a lot cheerier about helping this majestic sea-beast in its time of need; but instead, he and Johnny are watching the birth process with expressions of open horror. One suspects that this is the first time they’ve become truly acquainted with the procedure through which baby walruses are born, and are beginning to connect the dots to the human children they occasionally encounter as well.

Lesley, meanwhile, has purported throughout her retelling of this anecdote to be in a high dudgeon, but her expression and body language in today’s strip resemble nothing so much as Bernini’s frankly erotic depiction of Saint Teresa in ecstacy, so maybe we need to re-evaluate everything we thought we know about her attitude towards Mark and her obviously complex inner life.

Pluggers, 7/10/17

Pluggers may leave a trail of pollution wherever they go, but by God they aren’t going to SHARE THEIR CAR with SOMEBODY ELSE like BIG GOVERNMENT WANTS THEM TO like some kind of COMMUNIST