It’s interesting to see these vintage Mark Trail strips being published on Comics Kingdom. A kid Mark gets to know thinks his sister’s boyfriend is involved in poaching and asks Mark for help and advice. Apparently, Mark’s concern with animals must have been at an all-time low, as he only offers non-committal, “don’t-bother-me-kid” words. Mark does not seem willing to get involved and will not even tell the kid if turning the poaching boyfriend in is the right thing to do. I reckon Mark feels this is one of those life lessons the kid must work through on his own. How different that Mark is from our current Mark Trail, ready to jump into somebody (anybody) else’s problems at the drop of a hat, even if it has nothing really to do with animals or Mark. Let’s get to it!
Okay, lots to “unpack here”, as one of the trendy phrases states it. So, the incompetent driving of Diana Daggers allows Mark and “his friends” to once again slip through their net and escape. She finally makes her way to the Farmer’s Market, so she could not have been that far behind; just far enough to not notice which car drove in and parked. I reckon everybody either ducked or bailed out of the Prius in time?
Now, Diana is pissed because the Prius she tried to block with her car somehow scraped her front end? Heavens to Betsy, those cads!! Well, what the hell did she expect, anyway? This reminds me of some writing from the late Jimmie Breslin, writing about New York Mafiosi chasing down a target who gets away, because the Mafiosi kept dodging rain puddles to avoid messing up their imported hand-made Italian shoes.
So here they are, at last in the Market, full of green Priuses (see yesterday’s post for a discussion on the plural form of “Prius”!)! And this is just too much information for Bee and Diana, while Professor Bee shows that he is just as juvenile as Cricket Bro. In fact, they all are. This is like one of those summer high school movies with the wimpy good guys trying to avoid the rich bully and his pals in his expensive car. And how many other dreadful movies or episodes of the 1960s “Batman” TV show did Professor Bee have to watch in order to come up with that really “menacing” threat in panel 4? Perhaps he was in “drama class” in his college days.
Well, now what, Diana? By your own standards (such as they are), if you cannot record the Herp Hacienda Gang in the Prius, or coming out of it, then you have zilch. At this point, those three could simply saunter around, even stand in plain sight in the parking lot; but you would have nothing, Daggers. No direct chain of evidence. Time to cut bait and call it a night.
As a villain, Professor Bee Sharp should stick to his academic pursuits. He’s no Professor Moriarty. And neither is Cricket Bro, for that matter. Mark needs a real flesh-and-blood villain to bring to justice; not a bunch of arrogant California weirdos.
I trust, this time, that we are heading back to Lost Forest to learn more about Cherry Trail and her fight for botanical justice! At least Cherry has a legitimate motivation for her actions!
Yes! Yes! You said it perfectly and colorfully–
“Mark needs a real flesh-and-blood villain to bring to justice; not a bunch of arrogant California weirdos.”
This is a stupid story about weird characters. I cannot relate to any of them. Cherry is much more interesting. I can envision someone living off the grid with feral pigs, not folks dressed in costumes sleeping with lizards in the desert. Now we are treated to boxing matches, low speed chases and stealing computers. Not one poacher captured, not one animal rescued, not one polluter shamed.
Is there where my wife says it sounds like “Get of my law!”?
Thanks, Daniel! Well, I chalk this up to Rivera trying out new directions to see where she can make Mark work. It is out of his wheelhouse, for sure. I’m still cutting some slack, because she came into this with very little lead time and it has not yet been a full year. So, there are bound to be missteps along the way.
But I like the idea of putting Mark into different situations, rather than the usual poachers, polluters, and cheating fishermen. Even James Allen seemed to be trying to do some different things. It is good to see Mark react to events that are not part of his normal world. And being uncomfortable is part of that. Yet Mark has not, so far, gotten in front of these events. So I agree; this particular story doesn’t seem to show off any of Mark’s positive traits or personality. I’m still holding out for a great ending.