Another Forlorn Hope?

“…until she heard of the bee statue.” I thought Cherry was the co-discoverer of the bee statue! Well, it’s clear my powers of prediction leave much to be desired, because the story has a new wrinkle. And sure looks like Caroline is not going to be Cherry’s BFF. She also turns out to be married to an exterminator, which explains her appearance in the strip. We see more reinforcement that it helps to be connected when trying to land jobs. I’m sure that the SSS did not bother to follow standard practices by putting out the job for bids, and doing a blind analysis of the bids before they just happened to pick the firm that was run by the husband of a board member. “Nothing dramatic to see here, folks. Just normal, everyday corruption. Move along, move along.And close your mouth before flies (or bees) get in your mouth, Cherry!

I can’t be too tough on those two purile paragons of privilege (Hey! How is that for a Spiro Agnew-style insult?!). For one thing, it is clear that Rivera means to mock their status. Furthermore, they may want to destroy the bees, but Cherry’s first reaction was to move them some place else, rather than integrate them into the garden. I mean, I can’t believe that was really a hive of so-called killer bees. Not even Cherry confirmed Violet’s rush to judgment. Now, is Cherry going to hurry up and make the pollinator case for the bees? She has two days left to do it before Sunday and then the return of two weeks of Mark and Diana.

Well, I appreciate the fact that Jules is juggling two concurrent story lines in the strip, something we did not see in the former Mark Trail (as I recall).  We might quibble with specifics (as we like to do), but Rivera is still in her first year of the strip. Unlike when Allen took over, Rivera’s job is not to simply keep driving the same car down the same country road, stopping at the same diners for the same meals. There’s a lot of things to work out in any reboot. I think (or hope) several of the clichés Rivera relies upon, such as the ongoing jabs at the former version of the strip (especially to Mark’s earlier role as the Idealized Man of Action and Nobility) will eventually disappear.