A flashback!? We need a flashback for something that just happened a few weeks ago? Well, I better not say too much. After all, I do weekly “recaps” which are not too different, right? <Ahem!> Still, this doesn’t serve much purpose. Now, had panel 4 actually been panel 1, this so-called “refresher” could have represented Mark’s explanation to Rafael about Diana Daggers. But, no. Rivera missed the opportunity. Ah, I was truly hoping I’d seen and heard the last whine from Reptilionnaire, too!
Mark instead wastes his breath in panel 4 trying to build up suspense before he reveals his information. I’ve seen too many characters in movies do this kind of time-wasting build-up, rather than getting right to the point: “Guys, Daggers is a psychopath and has threatened to kill me!” Time-killing speech like this usually gives the listener time to cut off the speaker with some self-important response, such as “No time to listen to your fanciful stories right now, Trail! Just get to the airport as quickly as possible. Your ticket is waiting for you! Good-bye.” And it’s off to the races.
One alternative suggestion here is that Rafael admits to Mark that Daggers already spoke to him about their relationship, but gave a different story. Don’t think she can come out and admit the truth, but she would have laid the groundwork for Rafael to believe they can work together, thus giving Diana the opportunity to eventually make good on her threats.
I was surprised by the flashback-recap too. Not surprised that there should ever be one. It’s an efficient way to give relevant backstory. And it’s well-placed, giving Mark Trail the chance to be more awkward and embarrassed as he gets to explaining the situation.
It does seem weird to flash back to something just a month in the past. But casual readers can be safely assumed not to have the original strips on hand anymore to check on what just happened. And the panels are more action and excitement than Mark Trail stammering through an explanation could be. So maybe that’s as much justification as it needs.
Thanks! Fair points, Joseph. I reckon if we consider it Mark’s own flashback (which I admit to not considering), it makes a lot more sense to me. As you noted, at least it shows more action. But if a casual reader can make sense of it, good for them! Caveat lector!