Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #1 review



Bust out your yellow trench coat and two way watch — Dick Tracy makes his return to the pages of comics and it is glorious!

Extra! Extra! Long time Dick Tracy fan here! I was excited when I saw the announcement that IDW was putting out a new Dick Tracy story. For reasons that I cannot explain, I have always been drawn to the detective. I picked up a large book of his tales at a library when I was younger and instantly, I was hooked. Tracy was different than the Batman and Spider-Man comics that I was reading. So different in fact that even at a young age, I was asking myself “Am I supposed to like this?” Dick Tracy is a normal cat. He’s a police detective. He didn’t have a cape, he didn’t have special powers but I liked him and I liked that book.

Now IDW has a new book out this Wednesday with an impressive creative team. I will boast more about it later, but let me say that Rich Tommaso is definitely the guy to draw Dick Tracy. His artwork in this is incredible! But how did I feel about the rest of the story?

What’s the book about?

Dick Tracy just made the biggest bust of his life. The only problem is that some people are untouchable, and this arrest just costed Tracy his job. But Tracy tells Sam that the phone will always ring, and it does. Tracy moves to the “city by the lake” after taking a job offered by their police commissioner. Little does Tracy know, there are a bunch of corrupt officials there waiting for him in hopes they can buy him off, including a man by the name of “Big Boy.” But the plot thickens when it appears that Tracy knows more about this situation than the officials know.

The good

I really dig Allred’s scripting in this. There are certain moments that stand out showing that Tracy is genuine and trying to rid the world of crime. He even says, “I’m not some godlike visitor from another planet. I didn’t just look down from my penthouse one night and decide to fight crime.” and you feel the grind that Tracy is on. He’s a normal police detective doing his best to rid the world of crime.

Allred’s take on Tracy is solid. He doesn’t do anything wild with the character that is out of sorts. Dick Tracy is one character that I would prefer to stay true to form and he does so in the pages of this book. Dick Tracy is a bad-ass detective who stops at nothing to capture his man and he will use any method necessary to do so. I about lost I when he busted out the tommy gun!

As I said earlier, Rich Tommaso is an excellent choice for the artwork. Take Dry County and Spy Seal, two of Tommaso’s earlier books. He drew those in the similar style of Dick Tracy and I remember seeing a panel of his that had his character Malcolm Warner, AKA Spy Seal, wearing a yellow trench coat and I remember thinking to myself that Tommaso could draw Dick Tracy with ease and he doesn’t disappoint here. Laura Allred’s colors compliment the art and gives it the classic Dick Tracy feel.

Another addition that I appreciate is seeing the script turned to a comic page complete with color and inks at the end of the book. You view the work involved with making comic books and if you are looking to make books yourself, information and examples like this are priceless.

The bad

Where’s the watch? Dick Tracy not using his watch Is like watching James Bond without Q’s gadgets — a crime within itself! I’m sure the watch will appear soon enough. Maybe he will have his own “Siri” to keep up with the times? I don’t have many complaints about this book. I was fearful that it wouldn’t feel like Dick Tracy and this is all Dick Tracy. I loved it!

The ugly

That doctor toward the end looks kinda rough. Some of Tracy’s enemies aren’t as pretty. I hope that maybe one or two show up in this series. But even if they don’t, this is a good start to this new mini. I won’t be hurt so much.

The verdict

Calling all cars! This book is guilty of being too damn good! I have been looking forward to someone attempting to bring the detective in yellow back to comic pages and if you are a Dick Tracy fan, this is a book you must own. It is a crime to not add this to your collection!

Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #1
Is it good?
Dick Tracy is back and he is kicking ass and taking names!
Allred does a great job capturing the essence of the character
Rich Tommaso's style is perfect for Dick Tracy and he kills it!
Great start to a new Dick Tracy story.
Where's the watch?
Sucks this is only going to be four issues
9
Great