The mystery of whether or not Holly can recognize her own son when he is wearing his military fatigues goes unresolved in today’s strip, as we do not get to see who recognized who before this embrace takes place.
Cory has no hug for Funky? No handshake? No “hello pops”?
Nope, just a stab at ironic humor that earns a pity smile from his mother and a slight change of expression from Rocky (or maybe a cardboard standee of her). Whether intentional or not, one can reasonably infer this as a nod to what I thought was the most underdeveloped potential plot line in all of Act III, Cory’s tenuous relationship with Funky.
Though TB has essentially ignored this fact for the entirety of Act III, Cory is not Funky’s “bio-son”, he is Holly’s son from a previous marriage/relationship and his attitude toward Funky is not unlike the attitudes that some stepchildren do display toward their stepparents. That strained relationship is a mine loaded with realistic and relevant drama, but TB really never tried to tap it. He hints at it, perhaps inadvertently, but the hints are there nevertheless. Cory was depicted as a petty troublemaker (even once a thief) whose behavior exasperated his workaholic father, but TB never explored why Cory behaved like he did. I guess that would have taken too much time away from the Lisa tape library.
What did Cory feel he needed from his parents, especially his stepfather, that he wasn’t getting? How did Cory feel about it being decided that he take Funky’s last name? How did being blackmailed by both Funky and Les affect his opinion of the two most prominent male adults in his life? Did Cory look to anyone else as a father-figure? How did Cory’s behavior affect Funky and Holly’s relationship? Why did Funky struggle or refuse to connect with his stepson?
All the readers got to see is that Cory was a hoodlum until he wasn’t, because the military builds character or whatever. Why and how that all happened could have been interesting, realistic, and relevant to a lot of people. Those are three things TB has been running from since about 1994.