• Dick Tracy Forever #4 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review



    Dick Tracy Forever #4 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: August 7th, 2019.
    Written & Illustrated by: Michael Avon Oeming
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    The fourth and final issue of Michael Avon Oeming’s Dick Tracy Forever takes us to the future of 2031 where Dick Tracy has teamed up with Detective Tess Trueheart, the robotic Chief Patton and Detective Junior Tracy alongside Detectives Brilliant Smith and Gomez to right the wrongs not yet righted!

    When the issue begins, Dick is confused as to his whereabouts but his friends and family calm him down. It seems Dick’s mind has been uploaded into… something – a tactic also used by a dozen of the city’s richest oligarchs. The ‘Forever Cloud’ seemed to guarantee immortality but soon enough the information in that cloud was stolen, the minds uploaded into a VR system that fooled them into thinking things were real – at which point, the hackers behind this were able to open a back door and access everything these great minds contained. The lives of these twelve people are now essentially being held hostage – and Tracy volunteered to basically go in after them. When he and Tess wound up arguing over Junior’s life, Tracy’s brain rejected the simulation and, voila, here we are.

    If Tracy and the others can retrieve the hard drive where everything was downloaded to, Brilliant can basically break the realities that the other brains are experiencing and snap them out of it, like what happened with Dick himself. To do this, he’ll need some tools – like his grandfather’s old watch, something that uses the type of technology that can’t be hacked. He and Gomez visit the home base of the Forever Cloud company, the offices of a corporation owned by a Mr. Ruskkoff. Rushkoff explains how and why the backdoor was opened – and that’s when it all hits the fan, so to speak.

    Oeming takes things into some pretty interesting – and thought provoking – territory in this last chapter. There are musings here about the good and bad of technology, the storyline clearly playing into humanity’s trust in technology to keep their information and details secure. Anyone who pays any attention to the news knows that hacks happen all the time, big and small, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Bringing an ‘old’ character like Dick Tracy and his supporting crew into the not too distant future to deal with this problem turns out to be an interesting idea and a very effective way to tell a story at that. The writing is smart, but the cleverness never overshadows the sense of ‘fun’ that is front and center in all of this. Regardless of the time or the setting this is still very much a ‘Dick Tracy’ story, and while MAO manages to put a neat and original spin on it, it’s rooted in the character’s rich tradition.

    Oeming’s art works well, playing off of his writing nicely. There are elements of cyberpunk culture worked in here and you can’t help but feel that Blade Runner was an influence on a few of the panel layouts but quirky illustrative style suits the material very well indeed. Taki Soma’s coloring is also solid.

    This was a fun read – the last issue ties things together in a very satisfying manner. Al in all, a very original and wonderfully weird take on the Tracy mythos well worth seeking out!