Rating: 5/5 – Big Revelations at the Midpoint of this Sci-Fi Detective Maxi-Series.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Ian Gowan.
What would a world look like without the internet or any personal privacy at all? And since there isn’t any privacy, everyone wear’s a mask or disguise in public. Writer Brian K. Vaughn and artist Marcos Martin continue to explore this potential world scenario in this fifth issue of The Private Eye. Vaughn takes many of the issues we are dealing with in technology today and throws them on the wall to explore in this comic. Martin masterfully creates this world and its characters with the utmost in style. This comic may be set in the future, year 2076, but it has more of a retro nineties feel to it.
This alternate timeline where there’s isn’t any internet may not be so different than our own. This story is set in a future Los Angeles, but there are governments today, like China, where the internet isn’t completely allowed free to roam. Vaughn shines in this story where he’s free to explore anything political or social sensitive. All this is grounded by the ongoing mystery that also makes this a good detective story. The detective story sometimes takes more of a back seat to the socio-political exploration but that’s the type of writer Vaughn is. Although I could see where some readers could be turned off by this somewhat blatant airing out of personal political feelings on the part of Vaughn. Some may say that Vaughn leans far to the left of political and social views. A case could be made for that, although it’s more of a underlying statement about our eroding personal freedoms in today’s technology driven society.
Marcos Martin is like a modern day Steve Ditko but even better in some regards. Ditko is a big influence on Martin with his blend of a very stylized artwork grounded in a very real world physicality. Martin’s designs are extraordinary and the action is kinetic. The covers actually meaning something to what happens inside the comic is appreciated. Be forewarned, this comic is for mature readers and often gets very violent. The coloring by Munsta Vicente (awesome name by the way) add to the overall retro but new style and feeling of the world these characters inhabit.
As with all of The Private Eye issues, this is a pay what you want system. You can downloaded it for free if you wish. I think it’s worth paying a buck, that’s what I paid, for the 25 pages of story you get. Also worth mentioning is that all these digital issues are DRM free, meaning the file is unlocked. You can download a PDF file and own it for as long as have them backed up in the cloud or wherever. In an app like Comixology, you essentially rent the issue for as long as that company exists. People should support this more open system from BKV and Martin as I hope it gains more traction elsewhere in the digital realm.
Reviewed by: Ian Gowan
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