I think the alternating viewing angles provide some interest to today’s panels. Nevertheless…
Like many readers and complainers, I also wonder where this storyline is heading. It started out as a family vacation in Portland. Vacations are the basis for impromptu Mark Trail adventures (e.g., the Mexican artifact smugglers and the outlandish island volcano incident). This vacation got sidetracked right away by Mark’s concerns over his dad’s business relationship with Cricket Bro and his brother, who also happen to be in Portland. This story arc looked to be as exciting as warm milk, but there was hope that Rusty’s adolescent fascination with locating The Seaside Specter would turn out to be the real adventure this time around (Like father like son, right?).
Not so fast! One disastrous night and Rusty was ready to pack it in. We recently got a tease that Rusty’s adventure might get reignited but hopes like that often fizzle out in The Trailverse. Speaking of igniting, we now have another subplot: A sudden fire at the brothers’ “hidden” lumber mill.
One could charitably suggest that all of this chaos may just be a satire on the messiness of real life. But who cares for that!? Mark Trail is an adventure strip, not a documentary. Adventure stories (at least in comic strips) work best when they have a strong narrative focus.
Ultimately, I hope these rambling scenarios of Mark and the Crypto Bros move to the back and allow room for a more interesting adventure: Rusty’s Specter search. There isn’t much else to hang your hat on.