Review: Pirate Eye – Mark of the Black Widow (One-Shot)

Pirate Eye has to be one of the inadvertently funniest things I’ve ever read. Make no mistake this is a very serious story, but the concept behind it is just humorous to me. Why no one else has thought to make a Pirate a Private Eye is beyond me, but I’m glad that it exists. This quirky story manages to capture the formula of the genre while staying true to the era in which it takes place and is actually a great issue. It begins as it always does in a P.I. story, with a drunk waiting for someone to come to his office and give him work. Govenor Greyflask has come to the man simply known as Smitty for his assistance. He’s fallen in love with a girl at the brothel, but before he brings her home to be his mistress/house keeper he needs to verify one thing. See the woman has a mark on her, a mark that signifies that she’s killed a man before and he doesn’t want to bring her in to his home if she has. Smitty coheres half of his fee out of the man before setting out on what he thinks will be an easy enough payday. He stops by a bar and begins asking questions until he dupes a man to start telling him stories about local whores. He finds out that there are three new ones at Madame Collette’s but that one of them is in fact marked, though no man can verify it. Smitty hates brothels but it looks like he has no choice but to visit the woman and ask her some questions, but not before paying his dues to Parrot the Kingpin of the town.

1232332_fulThis really is your typical P.I. story, but the thing about all P.I. stories is that the journey and twists are what makes it interesting. This story is not without its twists and turns and like any good story of its nature there are plenty of great characters. I think that’s what I was drawn to the most was not only the character of Smitty, but the supporting cast as well. It’s a very rich world that the characters have and the story makes you want to dig deeper into Smitty’s past and the town as well.

The art reminds me a lot of Alex Maleev’s style in many ways, but largely due to how the dialog panels were laid out. Since a lot of the story is conversations and not everyone twitches into a different pose every two seconds it’s always nice to see two characters staring each other down. Yonder does a great job with the details and making this mostly dialog story interesting and does a great job of visually telling the story as much as the narration and dialog does.

The story and art, work very well together and support each other to produce a great story. After seeing the preview I can’t say that I was shocked by how good it turned out, but I never expected this to be this damn good. The crazy thing is that if this was just another P.I. story and not set during the time of Colonialism and Pirates, it would still be a great story and that’s the true sign of a timeless tale.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Josiah Grahn Artist: Carl Yonder Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/19/12