|Enough of this guy ...|
What exactly is Mister In-Between meant to be between? A rock and a hard place? The Devil and the deep blue sea? Meals? Jobs? Relationships? No, not according to his introductory caption -- he stands in-between the law and the underworld! I guess he's Alt-Center.
What Mr.In-Between means by standing between the two extremes of society is that he's a private investigator and he will take money to beat up crooks. Sounds to me like he's actually a garden-variety capitalist and, by that reckoning, he has picked a side between law-and-order and criminality: He's picked both.
|Our real hero.|
In fact, Mr.I-B isn't nearly the most interesting character in this singular strip -- that honor falls to Phineas P.Bizzy, a weird dude in a bowler who is, to all appearances, the wacky sidekick of the story. He is, however, ten times better prepared for trouble than Mr.In-Between and has a better backstory.
Bizzy joins the fray whilst eavesdropping on a crook who's calling in to his superior, blithely acquitting the widow of the murder of which she'd been accused. It's a bit of luck on Bizzy's lunchbreak, but he makes pretty good opportunity out of it. Specifically, he hucks a smoke bomb at a bunch of cops who're hauling the suspect away, punching a couple of patrolmen and absconding with the girl AND "our hero." Seems like maybe Mr.In-Between is actually in-between usefulness and sidekickery.
The origin of Phineas P.Bizzy is that he's an adventurous sort of fellow who's trapped in a dead-end pickle business. Successful but bored, he goes around solving crimes and getting into trouble in his spare time. Two other things you should know about Phineas: He hangs out in dive bars and is well-acquainted with the seamy side of the city, such as the nightclub called The Red Door which has *gasp* belly-dancing inside!
|As catchphrases go ... this owns.|
While Mr.In-Between does all the grunt work -- dodging bullets, shooting crooks, breaking into offices -- Bizzy bides his time and catches the bad guys (the DA was responsible, for some reason I don't care about) while announcing his colorful catchphrase: "Pardon me! Have a pickle?" It's a good character. I could turn that into a twelve issue series with a heart-breaking third act in a story called, like, "Revelations" or "You Can't Go Home Again" or "Quite a Pickle" or something like that...