Archive: Spider-Man

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Beetle Bailey, 12/14/17

The thing about this strip that most irritates me is that it presumes an entirely unearned affection readers have for Beetle Bailey’s antic wackiness. “Ha ha, that’s our Camp Swampy!” says literally nobody. But to get into the specific details that annoy me, let’s take on the fact that panel two is a crowd scene and Beetle Bailey has tons of established but rarely used characters to draw from and yet the background is populated by people we’ve enver seen before. I’m not sure who I feel more drawn to: the two ladies running by in wide-eyed, manic glee, one of whom I’m reasonably sure is holding a giant knife over her head, or the dead-eyed, joyless guy who seems to be thinking “Really? I’m the only black person in this strip and they’ve got me playing basketball? Really?

Spider-Man, 12/14/17

Oh, hey, MYSTERY SOLVED, it turns out that scruffy dude hanging out in the swamp rescuing Mary Jane from various reptiles wasn’t some random low-level superhero/Marvel character at all but was actually the Incredible Hulk! Or, I guess, it was Bruce Banner, who’s a nuclear physicist and … I’m not sure why he’d be in a swamp, actually? Or why he’d have the knife skills to chop of a snake’s head to save MJ? Still, the important thing is that, as scientists who occasionally transform into monstrous green creatures, Doctors Banner and Connors are gonna have a lot to talk about, eventually! Like, for instance, that terrible deep gash on Dr. Connors’ leg, and whether he should just double down and root around in his box of potions to see if he can find one that will regrow two limbs.

Lockhorns, 12/14/17

Usually characters trapped in endless, unchanging comic-book time go through their eternal-now lives blissfully unaware of the strangeness of their existence. However, thanks to this seemingly innocent question posed by their therapists, the Lockhorns, who have been in their middle age for almost fifty years now, have been forced to confront the eternity that stretches before them. Having both long consoled themselves that at least death will free them from their mutual prison, they are understandable despondent.

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Spider-Man, 12/11/17

Oh, hey, remember how MJ was on the verge of being falling victim to the various reptiles that live in the Everglades? The normal ones, not people turned into lizards because they’re trying to grow their arms back or whatever. Anyway, she’s been rescued by … this rugged khaki-clad outdoorsman! Once again my extreme disinterest in Marvel comics leaves me blissfully unaware of who this guy is, which makes it fun for me to speculate. Is he a new character created for this Newspaper Spider-Man storyline? Or is he one of Marvel’s deep bench of third-tier superheroes and/or villains, with a name like … Swamp Fellow, or Reptile Fighter, or the Vigilante Park Ranger, or Our Lawyers Assure Us He Doesn’t Infringe Upon Steve Irwin’s Life Rights Man? Whatever the case, he’s sure to get his own Marvel Cinematic Universe movie or at least a Netflix series by 2021!

Slylock Fox, 12/11/17

“…and you, Shady, are using latex paint!” Slylock proclaimed. “Anyone who knows basic chemistry would know you were the culprit! I arrest you in the name of forest environmental law!” The detective was so busy feeling smug that he barely noticed the frog collapse quietly in the the grass, the rubber paint having thoroughly coated his permeable, breathing skin.

Six Chix, 12/11/17

I have to give a shout-out to Six Chix for simultaneously and largely successfully going two different directions with this joke: imagining the “rat race” in terms of adorable rats with tiny medals and little tank tops, and painting us a picture of a surging, seething mass of rodents, just a nightmarish rat flood that cannot be stopped or escaped.

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Spider-Man, 12/4/17

Guys, I’m gonna be blunt: I don’t think the Newspaper Spider-Man comic strip has a real solid sense of how “science” works. Like, I’m no biologist with a speciality in limbs myself, but I imagine Dr. Connors would be analyzing the genetic mechanisms that control limb regrowth in species like geckos, or maybe studying how limbs grow in embryos, say, then forming hypotheses about how those processes could be reproduced in an adult human. But, no, he apparently just brought a big cardboard box of bottles out to his swamp-lab. “One of them will help restore my lost arm! Vinegar? Liquid-Plumr? Pesto? I won’t stop guzzling down whatever’s in these bottles until my arm grows back!”

Blondie, 12/4/17

As we all know, Dagwood and Blondie spend most of their time sitting in the same room facing away from each other. They’re doing a little experiment to try to restore some emotional intimacy to their everyday lives by sharing the same piece of furniture, and it is not going well.

Dick Tracy, 12/4/17

We’re launching into a new Dick Tracy storyline this week, and it begins with Sam and Dick grousing about how they’re always at the beck and call of Diet Smith, wealthy inventor and supplier of cool cop gear, just because he’s rich. Sure, it’s fun to be a policeman and decide who lives and who dies, but our heroes are getting sick of being tools of capital. But will there still be a need for brutal police violence after the revolution? Don’t worry, boys: according to all of human history, yes!

Dennis the Menace, 12/4/17

Is this even … is there some menace happening here? This is just Henry leering at cheerleaders on TV. Not really sure if he’s watching Bring It On or the College Cheerleading Championship on ESPN, but the point is that daddy’s horny and Dennis knows it and he’s telling his mom about it. I guess the real question is, is there anything that isn’t menacing happening here? Even Ruff looks to be in a heightened state of unnatural arousal.