The last issue started out with a bang and a big twist. Obvious spoilers ahead from the first issue so be warned! The biggest bust of Tracy’s life also was his biggest mistake as he loses his job and takes up enforcing the law at the “city by the lake.” Corrupt officials believe they can make Tracy one of their own and play their game, but Tracy isn’t easily bought. Instead he sets their world on fire and even sends Big Boy to the electric chair! What? Yup, Big Boy is out of the picture in the first issue….or is he? Seriously, help me out here. Is he really gone?
What’s the book about?
Tracy is cleaning up the city. Big Boy is gone and so is the funding for his operation. The cops aren’t willing to play ball anymore with the crooks now that their payoffs have all dried up. Tracy has wrecked another hideout and arrested Flattop, Mumbles, BB Eyes, and a number of other gangsters. Things are looking pretty good for Tracy. He is accomplishing what he has always set out to do: rid the city of crime. But all isn’t roses as another gangster has shown up on the scene and this cat has plenty of funding to make the criminal underground continue to operate with ease.
The Allreds have kept the momentum going in Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #2. The story is getting better, new villains are being introduced, new threats are afoot for Tracy and this is exactly what a detective story should be — it’s a bonus that it’s a Dick Tracy story! Tracy has always had a place in my heart and to read such a fun and exciting Tracy story just makes me so happy! I sound like a 10 year old right now, but that is OK, because that’s how this story is making me feel. It’s taking me back to the time I was up late at night reading instead of going to sleep for school the next day.
Let’s talk about Rich Tomasso’s art. I said it in my last review and I’m gonna sound like a broken record by saying he is the perfect artist to bring Dick Tracy and all of his nemeses to life! His artwork is so spot on. Flattop is one of my favorite villains and even though he gets busted early, it is still nice to see Tomasso bring him to life in the modern era. Laura Allred’s colors complete the ensemble by making the art leap off the pages with her vibrant choice of colors. It feels like an updated Sunday newspaper comic.
Last issue I was questioning where was his watch? You know, his cool wrist watch that was the iPhone of his time. Well, I’ll be damned if the Allreds didn’t write it in so Tracy has a smartphone. At first I sorta squinted my eyes, gangster style, while thinking “What the hell is this madness?” But I read the panels again and it clicked. Why not upgrade his technology? Even though Tracy didn’t seem impressed with it. But that isn’t bad! In fact, I don’t think anything in this book is bad! If you like Dick Tracy, then you will like this book!
Well yeah, I could tell you the ugliest part of this book, but it would be a massive spoiler and I am not a stool pigeon that squeals on the Allreds.
Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive #2 is well worth a purchase if you are a fan of Dick Tracy. Newer fans will still enjoy this series, as well — you don’t have to know much about Tracy’s history to enjoy this story. Hopefully it will inspire you to pick up older books and read more of his classic stories. The Allreds and Tomasso have a classic Dick Tracy story in the making here. You don’t want to miss it!
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!