No, that wasn’t obvious. Wally has been back in Westview for 9 years now. He was taken hostage in late 2007, BEFORE the time jump*, so he hasn’t patrolled an Afghan street in about two decades (heck, it is still a decade plus if you ignore the time jump). Adeela easily could have been that child and, oy… piecing together this strip’s timeline makes my head hurt. Still, I gotta say that Adeela has aged better than anyone in this strip except for maybe Cindy.
* Back in early Act III when Wally had apparently disappeared from the strip after the 10 year time jump, TB stated in a blog post (the infamous “it’s called writing…” post, in fact) that a “clue” in regards to Wally’s whereabouts appeared in the October 11, 2007 strip, in the immediate aftermath of Lisa’s death and just before the Act II to III time jump. That clue being the newspaper in the newspaper box that Les slumps past before he is pickpocketed by a couple of hipsters. It reads, muddily, “Soldiers Taken Hostage”.
Wally goes full-on “Doug Funnie talking to Patty Mayonaise” in today’s strip because… that’s what this story arc requires?
Adeela is not exactly winning Miss Manners’ stamp of approval here either though. She also seems to think she has already introduced herself to Wally (or expected him to eavesdrop when she introduced herself to Professor Forehead, I guess). Is she just not a Three Stooges fan or is she one of those people who prefer Shemp to Curly?
Fair or unfair, the military briefing-college class parallels continue in today’s strip. Wally and Adeela are bad at engaging others in conversation. Professor Forehead makes Ralph from Sally Forth proud by assigning a group project on day one so he doesn’t have to spend any time at all lecturing these students. Buddy may have disappeared… I’m sorry that I am just recapping the strip, but I don’t know what else to say here.
What will happen when Wally and Adeela finally speak to each other (presumably) three and a half weeks from now? The suspense is mildly irritating me.
It is not really fair for me to question the comparison of a military briefing to first day of an unidentified community college class as in today’s strip. While I have my suspicions about how appropriate the comparison is, I have only experienced the latter situation.
I will, however, point out that both Colonel Crew-Cut and Professor Forehead are awkwardly stating what both their audience in the room already know and what newspaper comic strip readers could reasonably infer without such clunky exposition. It is like TB leading off each strip with a drawing of him saying:
The following is a comic strip I wrote. It carries the weight of substantial ideas. Silver Age Flash is also important literature.
Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown that idea out there…
Today’s strip is actually kind of sweet, for the most part. It isn’t really a satisfying payoff to this past week’s glacial activity, but it does express a very nice sentiment.
Cory calling Westview “a sight for sore eyes” is, uh, some other things.
For one thing, it’s bizarre. In his teen years, Cory was pretty much never depicted as enjoying his life in Westview. Yes, that could be said about nearly every character in this strip, but unlike the adults around him Cory wallowed in it because he had no choice about living there. He seized his best opportunity of escaping and, until now, never looked back wistfully.
For another thing, calling Westview “a sight for sore eyes” in this context is a grave insult to the nation of Afghanistan.