Found: One comic-strip physician, slightly tanned

While plenty of barbs have been aimed at DC Comics regarding the prolonged absences of Batman and Superman from their own titles, the disappearance of one prominent comics character has gone virtually unnoticed.

It appears that before emerging from hiding -- okay, a cruise ship -- on Dec. 6, a certain Rex Morgan, M.D., hadn't appeared in his own strip for five whole months. Of course, in fictional Glenwood, where time moves at a glacial pace, that probably only amounts to a few days. But still -- five months?

Luckily, journalist Mike Kernels of The Virginia-Pilot is on the case, and he learns from longtime writer Woody Wilson that evolution of Rex Morgan into an ensemble strip allowed him to leave the good doctor and family at sea.

“You try to create a back story," Wilson said, "a story where Rex and June are not the only compelling characters but the rest of the cast as well."

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