The first issue of this series was just “wow” from beginning to end. The fact that it was a new world and an even newer distribution model played a huge role in that… well that and the incredible story and gorgeous art. There is definitely less pizazz as the reader settles into the world, but carries over the same amount of quality with both the writing and art.
The issue opens up on the street with a phone ringing. A man wearing a Nym walks over to answer it and the PI cuts in. The guy gets in the PI’s face about the phone, but he tells him with a stone cold face that it’s for him. Then in typical P.I. fashion we meet one of his assistants, who in this case is a young girl that drives a taxi. Through their conversation we learn that she’s a minor and not allowed to have a Nym and actually is forced to wear a bracelet indicating so. She also uses a car phone which is a normal looking telephone hooked up to a car… it’s awesome.
They head over to Taj’s apartment where the Press (aka the Police) is there with her sister looking into her death. The crazy thing is they don’t say what the actual press is called as a photographer grabs several shots of the deceased. We find the same member of the Press that chased the PI in the first issue on this case as well. Deputy Correspondent Strunk is his name and he begins talking to Taj’s sister who has unmasked to talk on the record.
Outside we find our sneaky PI as he approaches the dead body. He gives a fake cover story as he wears a simple mask over his face and is easily given more than enough details about who died… his client. He throws in the towel on the case, but his perky young assistant calls him heartless and leaves him without a ride to think about the situation. From there the story checks in with the villain/murderer, who is sporting Taj’s Tiger Nym.
The story continues to be fascinating as we see a mesh of new and old society. It’s a great blend and you never really know what the creators will flip on you. For instance in this issue we see the wrecks of the old subway system and the new bullet trains that connect L.A. Vaughan hits all of the P.I. genre tropes yet again in this issue; the reluctant PI that’s willing to walk away from the case before his hands get dirty, the possible love interest, the mystery surrounding the villain and his master plan. They’re obvious, but they work so well and Vaughan bends them to his will and keeps the story interesting.
With this being the second issue, the writing really didn’t have any more big surprises unless an unexpected twist was suddenly added. This just means that the art was the only aspect that could still be shocking and damn it if wasn’t fantastic. The city has a very different look in this issue as we head to the ground more. We see the cars and restaurants and it all resembles a bygone era, but with this fantastic modern aspect to it. Once again I found myself lost in the page studying every detail and absorbing the wonderful art and design. If there was a silent issue of this series I would donate twice just because the art is so damn fantastic.
As with the first issue, it’s pay what you want and from what the creators say in the back… it was successful. I donated yet again with this issue making sure that each creator got buck from me and while it’s not much… it adds up. I’m glad to see that the experiment was successful and I hope that it continues to do well. I personally think that everyone should pick up both issues and support the releases because I already want the next issue. Also I’m pretty sure I saw Spider-Man, Mysterio and Woody Wood Pecker, so that’s worth it right there.
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Marcos Martin
Price: Pay What You Want
Release Date: 5/7/13