• Baraka

Dick Tracy Forever #1 A more grounded take on the character

Michael Avon Oeming (Author-Pencils) • Taki Soma (Colorist)

IDW (Publisher) • Get it now (Worth a Read)

Dick Tracy: Forever #1 is the follow-up to IDW's Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive that wrapped up a few months back.

The biggest selling point I've seen for the series is that it's being written and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming of Powers fame. Comparing each series, this Dick Tracy feels similar to the previous series but slightly tilted, grounded and less over the top than of Dead or Alive.

Tracy Feels more alive than I've ever seen him aside from the 90's movie. I appreciate this shift because most stories portray the character as one dimensional and single-minded to the point of parody. In Forever, Dick's relationship with Tess feels like an actual one, rather than just window dressing.

What's really interesting is the creative direction Michael has decided to take with this story. This issue is broken into 3 complete vignettes with an overarching story tying everything together.

The art is also very busy, which give the reader a ton to look at on every page. Each segment also has a puzzle interlude which I thought was cool and high concept. The way the book is laid out gives the illusion that the comic is bigger than it actually is. This is really cool, but highlights the one complaint I have with the book.

The book is presented in premium format with high gloss paper stock. It's clearly a collectors format. The presentation is cool and pretty innovative but I think because of the puzzle aspects and the creative direction that the issue would have worked better in newsprint. This is my opinion an totally subjective so take that with a grain of salt.

It may not be a big deal to most readers but as a collector, there is cognitive dissonance here. The book wants me to mark it up but quite frankly I'm not marking up a 4.00 comic.

I touched on the art above. It's very busy, panels and backgrounds are filled with content. It's not as bright as I'm used to for a Dick Tracy comic, but the stripped-down color scheme Taki has decided to go with works for the story being told.

The shift in creative direction answers my main complaint with the art for the previous mini-series. The pencils were great but the backgrounds were completely barren in many instances.

In Dick Tracy: Forever, stuff is literally everywhere and I really appreciate the change. It's also cool to see Tracy wearing something other than his trademark yellow jacket and fedora. This goes along with the aforementioned more realistic take on the character. Why wouldn't the detective wear another jacket from time to time?

Overall I think that this issue is a worthy follow-up to Dead or Alive. Issue #2 will be set in 1951 so it will be interesting to see what a 20 year time jump does for the character.

I wish more comics were as creative with its layouts and ideas as this one is. Comics are a visual medium limited only by the imagination of the creatives involved. Minor gripes aside I appreciate what the team has accomplished here.

It's a fun comic and deserves more attention than its currently receiving.

Rating B+

#DickTracy #MichaelAvonOeming #TakiSoma #IDWPublishing #IDW

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