Maybe Mark just wants more stroking

First off, where did this “nice” video come from? If they were getting along at some point, we didn’t see it and Mark didn’t say anything to Cherry about it. Funny that she didn’t ask how that video got made. Of course, Diana is a producer and videographer; so it is possible she could have constructed that video without Mark’s participation.

The final panel is quite a production, in itself. If anybody was unsure about Professor Bee Sharp’s status in this strip, panel 4 is a clear answer. He is clear villainy. It reminds me of some early MAD magazine art, back in its EC days; specifically their parody of Batman.

Hey, the black & white newspaper image is not bad, in itself. It’s pure “bad guy” aura. But who—under the age of 40—reads newspapers anymore? The comparison with MAD is a stretch, I reckon. I’m not implying that Rivera was directly inspired by Wally Wood’s drawing (though that would be cool if true). To be honest, the comparison is not even unique. We see that lighting effect especially in film noir and horror movies of the 1950s. So, what’s my point, then? Got no point! I just liked the comparison.

Anyway, I don’t get Mark’s continued anxiety over “The Professor”. While Mark never really got in his “Two Fists of Justice” licks back in California, he certainly could have, except for the constant interruptions. And it’s not like Sharp knocked Trail out or anything! So, does Mark have some kind of bee phobia? Does the color yellow make him feel cowardly? Do power cars fill him with dread? Is it he just can’t deal with whack-jobs?

Oh, Cherry, clearly, they will meet again. Your intuition is not serving you well.

There remains other questions:
1) Is Diana still working for Bee Sharp and setting up Mark for a trap? Bee’s comments in panel 4 suggest not. This could lead to a grudge match of Trail+Daggers v. Sharp. Maybe Sharp will bring a friend (Cricket Bro?)
2) Did Diana innocently post where she and Mark are heading so that Sharp is able to pursue them?
3) Why does Bee Sharp hate Mark so much in the first place: Jealousy? Dirty Dyer’s brother?
4) And what the heck happened to Cricket Bro, anyway? Seems like everybody deserted him, including his two thugs.

Well, with all the handwringing, I feel like I’m losing track of the story, which has still hardly gotten off the ground.  If Rivera follows her standard practice we’ll see a second week of Mark’s story. Perhaps we will also see some movement in the storyline. And let’s be done for now with the self-doubts and feel-good therapy. Jules, the comics page does not need another soap opera strip!

Finally, I enjoy the reader comments! I appreciate your observations, information, and even corrections! They add useful breadth to these posts. And they help keep me on my toes. Mille grazie!