Archive: Spider-Man

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Slylock Fox, 6/11/18

Today’s Slylock has what strikes me as a pretty big disconnect between the text and the art. The narrative we’re presented with asks us to believe that it’s Max who was lagging behind, and Slylock who has to still forge ahead to complete their mission. But check out what they actually look like: Max dynamically striding forward into adventure, looking over his shoulder at his companion, who’s desperately clinging to the broken bridge with a look of panic on his face. It’s almost as if these tales aren’t being written by their true hero, isn’t it? Anyway, here’s hoping Max crumples that map into a ball, tosses it into the ravine while Slylock watches, and heads off into the jungle, never looking back.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 6/11/18

While I admit it isn’t for everyone, I really enjoyed the Darren Aronofsky Noah from a few years back (my pocket review is that the it’s the only big-budget biblical epic I’ve seen that has the nerve to get as crazy as the actual bible). One of the key themes of the movie is that for most of the story Noah believes that God plans to kill off all of mankind for its sins; Noah and his family are merely to shepherd the animal species through the Flood, and then once they die of old age, the human race will be justly wiped out. It’s only when he discovers that his daughter-in-law is pregnant that he has to recalibrate his thinking; but what today’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith asks us to imagine is a word where the Flood is meant as a final and complete act of extermination, not just for man but for the beasts as well. Parson Tuttle is, as usual, wrong: There is an ark, and these creatures are calmly walking one by one into it, each to bear witnes for his or her kind at the complete elimination of all their fellows. All will live out the rest of their lives in contemplation, and eventually perish, leaving the earth cleansed of the filth that is biological life.

Mary Worth, 6/11/18

Hey, remember when Tommy used to date one his co-workers, but then he hurt himself and missed a few days of work, and when he came back she dumped him and he became a Vicodin addict? Then he eventually got fired, which solved the problem of having to work with an ex, but caused more problems in terms of not having a job and spiraling downward into addiction and so forth. But good news! Now he has a job, and there’s a girl at this job that Tommy clearly intends to make his own! His life’s all set, until the dangerous combination of a back injury and a breakup inevitably befalls him again.

Spider-Man, 6/11/18

It’s funny because Iron Fist has immediately taken Spidey’s measure and deemed him not even worth punching with his titular iron fist, and instead has chosen to kick him with what I assume is a regular, non-metallic foot, which appears to be clad in a ballet slipper of some kind.

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Dick Tracy, 6/10/18

Ha ha, I guess this is why they call him “Sawtooth”: if you try to make small talk with him during the 46-hour train ride from California to Chicago, he’ll bite your head off! Metaphorically. And maybe literally, later. 46 hours is a long time. And that’s the scheduled travel time. Those long-haul Amtrak routes often run very late. Lotta opportunities for, say, a guy with metal teeth to bite another guy’s head off, is what I’m saying. He’d have some soothing quiet then, by God. Except for all the horrified screaming, I guess.

Mary Worth, 6/10/18

Remember, Mary is of a certain age, so she uses euphemisms like “seeing someone at the Medical Arts Building” to mean psychotherapy and “exciting personal life” to mean “non-stop fuckfest with a hot rich dude her son’s age, to which I have given my blessing.”

Spider-Man, 6/10/18

Boy, there’s a lot of musing about hospital administrators padding out this comic before we get to the best: the NEXT: box that boldly uses the completely horrifying phrase “spider of flesh!” Imagine if you will a spider not covered in chitin like the ones you know, but rather just composed entirely of flesh. Just a spider-shaped flesh-chunk, no organs or anything like that, but somehow alive, and moving. Pretty awful, right? Sure would want a fist made of iron to come along and pound it into oblivion!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 6/10/18

“…with a bigger budget than most, of course. So, in other words, I’m not like a regular mom at all! I’m rich as shit!”

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Spider-Man, 6/4/18

There are of course plenty of different schools of thought on storytelling. Some people will say that every detail should point towards the eventual resolution of the narrative, and if that’s the template Newspaper Spider-Man is going for perhaps this angry cabbie will show up up at a crucial part of the climax, out for revenge. But many writers like adding little grace note details to their stories, which make the world of their tales feel more filled out and lived in, and clarify the nature of their characters, without really pertaining to the plot. I assume that’s what’s going on here as Peter Parker is berated by a cabbie as a cheapskate. While Peter himself doesn’t make much money, his wife is a successful actress and, honestly, he doesn’t even attempt to beg poverty. “Sorry. Didn’t have that much money on me,” he says casually. “I just didn’t think ahead, and now you have suffer for it. Oh well!”

Dennis the Menace and Pluggers, 6/4/18

Here we have two men in the twilight of their lives evaluating their priorities in very different ways. Mr. Wilson rejects Dennis’s extremely non-menacing nutritional advice, for a number of obvious reasons: he’s already lived a good long life, and why not enjoy the time he has left, or at least use the fleeting joy of a sugar rush to distract from the fact that what should’ve been his golden years are being spent constantly feuding with the child who lives next door? Then there’s our elderly dog-man plugger, whose house and body are in equal states of disrepair. He could try getting out the toolbox and fixing up the house — he is a plugger, after all, and that’s the sort of thing they do — but, you know, he’ll be dead soon, so why bother? The stair will outlive the knee, at least, and soon he won’t be able to walk down the steps anymore to hear the squeak. Then it’ll be somebody else’s problem.