Day: August 29, 2020

Graphic Novel Review: Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive

Dick Tracy made a big arrest and got fired for it. However, the City by the Lake desperately needs cleaning up, so the City by the Lake calls him and he gets to work, and it’s not too long before he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and hunted by dishonest cops, and needs new allies to clear his name and bust the rackets.

Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive¬†can be a bit jarring. Dick Tracy looks and acts like he always did. Only in a city that despite its retro designs, is chocked full of modern technology. Of course, this may come off as less surprising to fans of the strip which has had to find a way to keep current while maintaining the timeless qualities of Tracy. This book doesn’t do a pretty decent job of it.

The book does a decent job re-imagining some Dick Tracy characters¬† without going too far or making them unrecognizable. When Tracy is on the run, he’s given his watch, which is introduced as a specially designed device that gets around spying technology.’

If I had a complaint about changes, it’d be with Tess Trueheart. Tess has always been a tough character to do and an easy one to turn into a two dimensional damsel in distress trope. However, this book turns into a more modern trope, that’s just as two dimensional.

The art is fun and very fitting for a Dick Tracy book. The story’s not a masterpiece. But at just over 100 pages, it’s a breezy, fun read that manages to capture the Spirit of Dick Tracy and provide a lot of great, two-fisted action and a few surprises along the way.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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EP3230: Police Blotter: Murder on the Fourth Floor


Brad Peters investigates the murder of a theatrical agent.
Original Air Date: 1957
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