Story-wise, I don’t get it. So Cherry has the hots for Rex Scorpius. Why should Cherry want Mark to take the assignment in order to work with this dude? It’s not as if she is going along or that Rex is going to make a house call. Mark should have talked with Ralph the rat snake first.
As for the art, I also don’t get it. In early June, as the rash story was starting up, Cherry was depicted as quite the comely gal, as she is normally shown. But today, she looks like a member of the SNL Widette family. Is this deliberate (as in making a statement)? The result of rushed work? Somebody else helping out? Frankly, even her head looks odd (panels 1 and 4).
I am also embarrassed that Mark had to be shown looking like some whipped, whiny pansy (panel 4). I think we all get Rivera’s anti-macho position, and I’m okay with that. She’s been doing this since she started. Rivera already established that this Mark is no longer the 1950’s stoic, highly moral, invincible man of action (as Allen was also starting to explore).
But I don’t think she needs to swing that cultural pendulum so far to the other side. Rivera has been showing Mark sometimes indecisive, out of his depth, lost, and even knocked down. That’s fine. Yet, to literally show Mark limp-wristed and hang-dogged is over the line. Add to that, having Cherry react like a bimbo-brained, swooning girl and this all seems reminiscent of stereotyped roles in family TV sitcoms (e.g. Married with Children, I Love Lucy. Go ahead and fill in your own examples).