With the world established, the fun can really begin.
I must admit, I had fallen a bit behind on The Private Eye before this most recent issue launched.
It has nothing to do with the quality of the work. This series is one of the best comics you’ll read this year. Marcos Martin has a flair for the dramatic (which is seen in ample detail in this issue), making this one of the industry’s best-looking “books”.
Brian K. Vaughan delivers one of the most fascinating worlds I’ve seen depicted in comics. As with all his work, the universe he creates is utterly fantastic, while never feeling more than a few steps away from reality.
Some delays and a lot of set-up were the culprits in my falling behind on this wonderful P.I. tale. But now that the world is fully established, the plot is launching forth with the velocity of a rocket. (And speaking of rockets: how about Martin’s double-page spreads through this series? One of these has to be my desktop background.)
This issue moves at a rapid pace that evokes the tensest of action-thriller movies. The shoot-out at the hospital is gripping; the visuals are so striking that each bullet that lands also hurts the reader.
At the heart of this shoot-out are a number of revelations. Splitting the narrative of the last couple issues between our protagonist and antagonist is a really effective way of showing the detective process from two different viewpoints.
Ultimately, this is a mystery where we already know the answers to many of the questions before the detectives. That allows us to worry less about what’s coming later and to live in the moment with the characters.
My one minor quibble with this issue would be the damsel-in-distress scenario that is being set up with the kidnapping. But The Private Eye has never handled story conventions in traditional ways, and I’m more than willing to wait and see how Vaughan and company turn this convention on its head.
For any lapsed readers, learn from my mistakes and catch up. This issue finally propels the narrative forward in thrilling ways.
Brian K. Vaughan (W), Marcos Martin (A) • Panel Syndicate, $Up to you, March 27, 2014