Well, dear readers, looks like Rivera is content to continue this adventure by wrapping up some loose ends. While we might grimace at the less than stellar art that has lately been showing up in this strip, we can revel in the Herp Posse’s self-congratulatory post-game analysis as they awkwardly stand around. The “supporting cast” of Herp Hacienda Oddballs, having fulfilled their pointless and thankless task of being present at the celebration, have once again been relegated to that “Mark Trail Phantom Zone” of isolation previously inhabited by Mark’s family and other characters who might have had something more to offer, but were mysteriously sidelined (e.g. Dirty Dyer).
Reptile Man seems content with things, overlooking the fact that Cricket Bro has been bankrolling him. For that matter, I believe Cricket Bro has also been funding Herp Hacienda. Nobody seems to care about the consequences. Mark’s phone ringer underscores his obvious old-school sensitivity, while he tries to sound like a modern, sensitive hipster. As George Harrison once sang “It’s all too much…”
Well now, to get to the main point: Who is calling Mark? All kinds of interesting plot possibilities come to mind:
- Cricket Bro, who still wants to settle scores but may be content to simply offer more lame insults
- Professor Bee Sharp, who may want a rematch or at least force this crowd to detail his car
- Diana Dagger, who would like to introduce her foot to Mark’s gonads
- Cherry, who is brimming with sisterly love, having made up with Violet and forgotten that her company may now be bankrupt
- Amy Lee of “Teen Girl Sparkle”, who confesses that, yeah, she knew beforehand about Cricket Bro’s involvement and his past relationship with Mark, just like Mark was set up in his prior assignment!
- Bill Ellis of “Woods and Wildlife”, calling to see if Mark can get him out of the Phantom Zone and back into the strip
- The insurance company, calling to cancel Mark’s coverage, based on viewing the security video footage posted by Cricket Bro
- The Florida State Patrol, requesting he voluntarily return to the state for questioning
So many possibilities, indeed! Now, which one do you think it could be? Or do you have a different idea?