• Dick Tracy Forever #2 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review



    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: May 29th, 2019.
    Written & Illustrated by: Michael Avon Oeming
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    Picking up where the first issue left off, issue #2 opens in prison where Pirate Billy is trying to dig his way out, hoping that English Bob will cover the sound by playing his harmonica. Bob’s not having it, he says that his playing always brings the guards so instead, they cover the noise by talking. That talking, for the most part, is made up of Bob’s story about ‘Dick Tracy and that damned watch!’

    See, Bob and some pals were buying drugs and when it went south, Bob made it out with the drugs and the cash only to find that the cops had them all surrounded. It turns out Tracy had been working undercover in their operation and transmitting the details of their plans back to police HQ through his watch. From there, Billy tells his story of how after he robbed an orphanage and stashed the cash in an old mine. When Tracy followed, Billy trapped him there but again, that watch saved his skin as he was able to call in for help. He got arrested but the cash is still in the mine, which explains Billy’s eagerness to get out of the big house. But of course, there’s a twist.

    The second story introduces us to a congressman who wants the dirt on dick! A sneaky photographer gets him a picture of Tracy shaking hands with a mobster named Broccoli Rabe. Later, the Brow and his crew shoot up a lab and kidnaps Doctor Hellberg. When Hellberg goes missing, it ties into Broccoli’s past as someone that the government used to keep an eye on the Nazi’s. He figures with a lot of covert activity at the docks, sneaky subs sneaking around and now this kidnapping that something is up, but before they can finish their conversation Tracy is attacked.

    The third chapter ties everything together – but we won’t spoil how or why. It’s a really fun read though, Oeming has a knack for these types of pulpy, noirish, old-school detective yarns and this one lets him spread his wings and just go for it. It’s quirky as all Hell but enjoyable as all get out – there’s a great sense of humor here, it’s self-aware without feeling like kitsch or camp. His art is also great here, the layouts are appropriately weird and the characters beautifully exaggerated in the best sort of way. Chopping the story up into chapters adds a little something to the pacing as well, this book moves quickly but not at the cost of the cool, wonky little details that all add up to a more interesting ‘big picture’ scenario. The coloring by Taki Soma and the lettering from Shawn Lee help fill this out nicely.

    Oh, and IDW has also included a keen full color four-page preview of the upcoming Usagi Yojimbo monthly series that is starting in June – great stuff.

    All in all, a great second issue to a series well worth seeking out.