Archive: Phantom

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Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/2/17

[looks around anxiously] “Did you hear me? The Morgans are the real heroes here!” [speaking more loudly] “The Morgans! They’re the source of all good in our lives, and in the world! All hail the Morgans! They’re listening right now! [shouting now, really] I WOULD DIE FOR YOU, REX AND JUNE”

Funky Winkerbean, 2/2/17

Remember, kids, you only get to dodge death so many times, and you won’t know the day when your luck runs out until it arrives! Today’s Funky Winkerbean is extremely on brand.

The Phantom, 2/2/17

I may fail to keep you up to date on all the Phantom’s plotlines, but I promise you this: I will never, ever neglect to tell you about a strip that features a lovingly drawn closeup of the Phantom’s ass.

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Dick Tracy, 1/27/17

As I always note with increasing nostalgia, ever since the switchup of creative teams in 2011, Dick Tracy plots rarely end in insanely violent and gory death anymore. But Joe Staton and Mike Curtis do have a knack for unearthing the most horrifyingly deformed villains from the strip’s decades-long history and fitting their traditional look into today’s more modern art style. “The Brush,” whose head is completely hairless except for a drooping reverse mullet covering his entire face, is a particularly vivid example of this, and it says a lot about our society’s tolerance that someone so profoundly unsettling looking can find work in the landscaping industry.

According to the Dick Tracy Wiki, the original Brush was a scam artist who claimed that radioactive fallout from A-bomb tests had caused his condition, when he was actually just wearing a face-wig (face-merkin?). After raising a bunch of sympathy money in a preview of modern GoFundMes, his scheme fell apart and he fled to the countryside one step ahead of Dick Tracy, only to die when the dynamite trailer he was hiding out in got struck by lightning (!!!!!!!!). So I’m not sure what relationship this dude has with the one who was blown to bits in an act of a particularly vengeful God, but if this storyline is half as bonkers as that one, I am very much looking forward to it.

Phantom, 1/27/17

Sorry I haven’t been keeping you up to date on the current Phantom storyline, which, no lie, has involved a guy determined to get the Phantom on a Bangallan stamp. Anyway, the second panel is a great example of why the big purple guy is so philately-worthy: he’s punched this criminal so hard in the jaw that the dude’s head has partially phased out of our dimension, allowing it to become hopelessly embedded in the bars of his prison cell in a queasy-making, Escher-esque mess.

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Dennis the Menace and Family Circus, 12/7/16

Happy Pearl Harbor Day, everybody, a day that will live in infamy, a day that went mostly ignored in the comics today, even though many of the old-man characters in various strips are anachronistically supposed to be World War II vets, something even Crankshaft is too young for, honestly. Anyway, these two panels taken together pose the question: what’s really menacing in this life? Is it Dennis’s wild and aggressive accusation that Mr. Wilson, a decorated war hero, was secretly in league with Tojo and the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere? Or is something more banal and yet ultimately more terrifying: that even the most dramatic and momentous events in human history can fade, in the course of just a single lifetime, into a misty half-memory that someone like Jeffy will only vaguely have a grasp on?

Dick Tracy, 12/7/16

The fact that the main villain in this Dick Tracy storyline’s name was “Selfy” and that he was obsessed with taking selfies was one of a jumble of ideas that were entertaining even when they didn’t quite gel with each other. It mostly got dropped over time, but it’s fun to bring it back in the end here, as Selfy attempts to take a murder-selfie that turns out to not be quite murder-y enough.

The Phantom, 12/7/16

Fool! The Phantom doesn’t pay high prices for cable or satellite service! He’s already got Internet access in the Skull Cave, and gets his TV via over-the-top streaming services of varying legality! He’s not held down by your rules! He’s … the Ghost-Who-Cuts-The-Cord!