I thought I knew what was happening with “Judge Parker.”
When last we checked in with the soapy strip, the plotlines were pretty straightforward: a carload of teenagers — including Sophie, daughter of the wealthy Spencer-Driver clan — had crashed off a cliff. Some of the kids were likely dead, including Sophie, though we couldn’t be sure. Only that annoying Honey had definitely survived.
That seemed enough plot to fuel a “Judge Parker”-like strip for several months or more; hell, “Mary Worth” and “Mark Trail” have worked with far less.
But wait, there was more!
Neddy’s fashion firm was having its grand opening, complete with cynical TV reporters. But Hank, her on-again, off-again “friend,” was leaving for parts far away. Or was he?
So that’s where things stood: possible death, possible romance, possible “Mad City.” What more could there be?
Well, I don’t know what Francesco Marciuliano has been smoking, but apparently the new writer has decided to throw in all the plots he hasn’t been able to work into “Sally Forth.” To wit: a pair of skullduggery-minded criminals muttering in a car and a calamitous sinkhole that has swallowed Neddy’s factory.
Though surprising (if nonsensical), at least the sinkhole has some relationship to familiar characters. But who are the men plotting behind the wheel of “a blood-soaked car”? I’ve been reading “Judge Parker” since 1921 and I don’t recall them ever appearing before. Are they from the movie studio that bought Judge Parker’s screenplay?
I’ll stick with “Judge Parker” — that’s what we comic strip readers do, until our brains fall out of our ears like rotted produce — but I wonder what I’m sticking with. I do have one request for Mr. Marciuliano, though: Please, don’t introduce a character named “Kelrast.”