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Dick Tracy: Dead Or Alive #2 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review

    Ian Jane

  • Dick Tracy: Dead Or Alive #2 (IDW Publishing) Comic Review

    Dick Tracy: Dead Or Alive #2
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: November 21st, 2018.
    Written by: Lee & Michael Allred
    Illustrated by: Rich Tommaso
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    Picking up directly where the fantastic first issue left off, Dick Tracy has seen The Big Boss sent off to get the chair and managed to make a good start at cleaning up the City By The Lake… but he's pissed off some people along the way and still has a whole lot more work to do. The first page brings us straight into the story as we see Flat Top and his cronies cleaning their guns at a board meeting, complaining about the fact that Tracy has arrived in their town. However, given that they're sitting in a fully armed bullet proof fortress loaded with a years' worth of food and water they figure they're safe… until they hear some mysterious clanking outside. When that clanking stops, a wrecking ball attached to a crane piloted by none other than Tracy himself brings the walls tumbling down. Yep, he's gonna clean this city up if it is the last thing he does! The cops put everyone in cuffs except for a strange skinny man who makes an escape.

    Cut to an abandoned warehouse where acting Police Chief McLewis is in talks with acting syndicate boss Shark Moran about their deal. See, the syndicate was to pay McLewis to keep the heat off of them but with Big Boy gone, that deal is over. The offshore accounts that Big Boy kept all his money in were drained right after he fried. They figure Tracy was behind it, but the McLewis isn't budging without more money. Just then, there's strange laughter from the shadows and a bandaged man in a wheelchair is pushed into the room by his assistant, Chin Music. He claims to be the guy who drained Big Boy's accounts and proves it by tossing a stack of cash onto the table. He tells everyone at the meeting that he's the new boss of the city, and that his name is Yesterday Knewes!

    Elsewhere, with the corrupt cops on the force upset that Tracy is only working with honest new recruits, there's some grumbling. But Tracy and ace reporter Sam are in a cop car speeding to the other side of town to catch Shark, hoping to bring down the syndicate once and for all once they nab him. But before they can get there they're told to disregard - payola is clearly the cause! McLewis is reassigning his special squad members… Tracy heads over to talk to Pat Patton while the rest of the force seems intent on setting him up to take a big fall.

    The perfect follow up to the perfect first issue, this one has it all - thrills, chills and spills, a punch in the jaw, good cops and bad cops, backstabbing and betrayal and plenty of seriously funny humor. It never skimps in the action department but continues to build an interesting story about one honest man trying to clean up a filthy, dirty, corrupt city more or less by himself. Of course, it's not going to be easy, it couldn't be, but Tracy is the very epitome of nobility here, one of the last few good cops out there and he's not going to take all of this lying down. The Allred's write this type of material really well. It's hardboiled pulp fiction at its heart but there's quirky sense of humor to all of it that just fits really well with the story being told. It's also very quick in its pacing, something happens in every panel - a fight, an important talk, a treachery of some sort - Tracy is surrounded by snakes! He's in the viper's nest! And when this issue ends you're damn right we want to know how he's going to get out of it.

    Rich Tommaso's artwork, which is beautifully colored by Laura Allred, suits the writing well. It's just as eccentric as the story and it fits really nicely. He has a nice flow to his illustration that keeps the story moving and his character design is fantastic. The facial expressions, the costuming, the cars, the buildings… it all throws back to the Dick Tracy strips that so obviously inspired this but it has its own seriously unique twist to it. This is a very unconventional looking book but that's a complement in the best possible way. I love this comic and I never want it to end!

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