Dick Tracy Dead or Alive #1 (of 4) Review

by Olivier Roth on September 19, 2018

Written by: Lee & Michael Allred

Penciller: Rich Tommaso

Inker: Michael Allred

Colors: Laura Allred

Letters: Shawn Lee

Published by: IDW


Perfect 10!


Wait, you need an actual full review? Okay, okay. I can do that.


For the past year and a half, give or take, the Allreds and Tommaso have become one of my favorite sets of creators out there. Pretty much every single comic I’ve read of either the Allreds or Tommaso has wowed me and reminded why I love comics. The Allreds did it with their fantastic work on Bug! from DC’s Young Animal, and Tommaso did so with his creator owned series Spy Seal (both series I reviewed for Comics The Gathering).


So, to have them team up on one of the classics of the comic strip age, Dick Tracy? The hype as they would say, was very real. And boy, it did not disappoint in the least. With older properties, it can sometimes be an issue to try and introduce it to a newer audience. Especially one, like Dick Tracy, that is so routed in its setting of early twentieth century Chicago. The Allreds and Tomasso were not only up to this task, but they by far exceeded all my expectations.


Introduce Dick Tracy and how he is a no nonsense, straight edge lawman who will do what is necessary to put criminals behind bars? Check! Establish the setting in a clear, precise fashion? Check! Introduce Tracy’s rogues gallery that made as much of an impression as him back in the day? Ch.. almost check. We do get introduced to one of Tracy’s bad guys, and hints at more in later issues.


Everything is there and the Allreds and Tomasso bring everything together to not only make a very cohesive story throughout that never really let up, but the art! Oh my, the art! I’ve mention in the past when reviewing Spy Seal that Tomasso’s art is very reminiscent or European BD art, and I will never not like anything he does. Oh, and you have Laura Allred, one of my favorite colorists working today, doing colors?. Yeah, I can’t even begin to express how beautiful this comic is. Even if you aren’t a fan of Dick Tracy, it’s worth buying simply for the art alone.


So as you can see, I really liked this comic. Rarely do I go into a comic thinking I’ll give it a perfect score. With the pedigree of the creators on this title, I made an exception. It really had to screw up pretty badly for me not to give it a 10. And guess what? It didn’t.



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