On its own Aloha, Hawaiian Dick #1 doesn't leave much of an impression. It’s very by the numbers. As a piece of comic noir, the series will almost certainly build upon itself over time. It has to. And looking back with knowledge from future issues will likely result in a greater appreciation of this installment. But we’re not there yet. I find myself searching for the hook, looking for the ways in which the book will differentiate itself. And I find nothing.
Other than the gorgeous illustrations, there isn't much to recommend this issue. The prominent brushstrokes in the background lend an unsettling sense of constant movement. Meanwhile figures are very clear but full of textured line work that grants a small amount of personality to stock characters. Every panel frames moments like snapshots from some sleepless vacation. Any illustration from Aloha, Hawaiian Dick could pass for grainy magazine art from the era the book apes.
There's a lot of reverence for mid-century crime fiction here. But that reverence never parts to reveal a unique identity. None of the rote dialog translates to insight nor does it earn any interest on the part of the reader.
Aloha, Hawaiian Dick #1 Writer: B. Clay Moore Artist: Jacob Wyatt Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/20/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital