Archive: Spider-Man

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Slylock Fox, 12/17/16

Today’s Slylock Fox offers an important look at how the world evolved from the sudden, awful moment of the animapocalypse to the mostly organized society we know from the main narrative of Slylock and his mysteries. In the Six Differences panels, we see the early days of animal sapience, where the abruptly intelligent beasts are engaged in a Hobbesian war of all against all: the cat eagerly reaches for the fish, who squirms in terror, unable to escape, while a dog watches on smiling, devouring the stabbed corpse of a bird who was presumably as self-aware as any of these beings about an hour ago. Years (decades?) later in Las Vegas, the lights are still on, and Slylock is on the case, apparently enforcing securities law, making sure these wealthy, tails-and-top-hats beasts aren’t defrauded by one of the few remaining humans. It’s amazing how quickly the systems that protect first life, then property replicate themselves!

Spider-Man, 12/17/16

One of the things about laughing at Newspaper Spider-Man is that the character was always, across all iterations, supposed to be kind of funny, in a hapless teen way, even though the strip depicts him as a hapless twentysomething, which is … less attractive. So anyway, it’s pretty clear that Peter reaching out for help to other, better superheroes but only getting their voice mail is supposed to be funny. And yet I believe that Ronan, The Accuser’s magical conveyor belt of foodstuffs was intended to be entirely straight-faced! Sometimes parsing the levels of irony embedded in newspaper comic strips so I can tell whether I’m laughing with them or at them is exhausting, guys, but this … this is the life I chose.

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Spider-Man, 12/11/16

There’s a lot to love in today’s Spider-Man — MJ’s ridiculously impractical outfit, Peter getting his ass kicked, Peter making a superhuman effort to get off a dumb wisecrack before losing consciousness as a result of said ass-kicking — but it’s the next-to-last panel that will be long remembered as the comics panel of the year, maybe the decade. The sight of, among other things, an ice-cream sandwich, a slice of cake, a bottle of ketchup, a pot and a cup of coffee, a raw steak, and a delicious hoagie floating pell-mell in the general direction of Ronan, The Accuser is absolutely amazing, and I don’t even regret the fact that we don’t actually get to see how he processes all those foodstuffs into energy. Like, do they get absorbed through his skin, or does he just unhinge his jaw and they all fly down his gullet, or what? Surely Ronan, The Accuser doesn’t engage in anything so pedestrian as “chewing.”

Panel from Slylock Fox, 12/11/16

Shoutout to Slick Smitty for treating Max with utter and complete contempt in this little adventure. Having been presumably caught red-handed with evidence of his low-grade silver theft, Smitty has refused to even pretend that Max has the ability to impose some kind of legal consequences on him, and, rather than flee one step ahead of the actual law, has brought his latest hookup with him to enjoy the spectacle of Max running all over town on his tiny little legs and then futilely digging a hole in what I assume is a hilariously escalating state of agitation. Slylock does not look happy to have received this call.

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Spider-Man, 12/2/16

Ah ha, our new Newspaper Spider-Man plot is under way, and its antagonist is … Ronan, The Accuser! This is as good an opportunity as any for me to remind you that, despite the fact that I have made my name as a “comics guy” and have a love of Mary Worth and Mark Trail veering into dangerously unironic territory, I find most superhero comics extremely dopey, not least because they feature villains named things like “Ronan, The Accuser,” (and sorry, purists, I have decided that comma is a canonical part of his name and will be using it in every reference from now on). As moronic as Ronan, The Accuser seems and as dumb as his conflict with Spider-Man will inevitably be, at least you have to respect the franchise-driven media marketing strategy that brought him to newspapers everywhere. After all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is coming out in a mere, uh, six months, and so we need to start building buzz now for when Ronan, The Accuser squares off against Peter Quill and our other heroes, just like he did in the first film, where they defeated him and he … uh … died? So he won’t be in the sequel? Man, Newspaper Spider-Man never misses an opportunity to not be useful in any way.

Marvin, 12/2/16

Haha, check out how grotesquely smug Jeff looks in panel three, because the only part of his life he has in order is strong-arming his wife into getting a job! This is some extremely relatable content right here. Marvin: come for the poop jokes, stay for the economic anxiety expressed through marital discomfort!