Well even though I read this issue two seconds after buying it, I’m just now getting around to reviewing it. I strangely didn’t see too many reviews for this issue this time around which is weird considering how great this issue is. If you’re also using the reviews as an update on how the “pay what you want” business model is going for this series then you’ll be pleased to know it’s going well. So far half of the people who download the issue are paying for it according to the creators which is damn good. I myself have given money to the creators each time and will continue to do so until the series concludes. The issue does not start the way you think it will. When we last left the story our main character found himself about to step in shit (metaphorically) and yet this issue opens up completely different. We find our Private Eye dreaming. He starts off normal with his usual disguise resting his head on his hands and then the panel’s progress and his makeup is gone and his clothes follow as well. After having a pleasant memory he quickly falls into another moment in his past involving his mother. It’s clear that this moment has a lot to do with his personality and job profession.
Our P.I. wakes up on his couch with his Grandpa who is having a good day and talking like a normal person. He lets him know with medical talk that his finger is gone, the same finger he was dreaming about. We then flashback to the scene in his office that we left on in issue two and see how the gas mask dudes shot his finger off and grazed the side of Raveena’s head. It’s an intense scene that I will leave for you to experience for yourself, but obviously they get away.
Personally, I hate when issues jump back to the past after showing you the outcome. It’s a tired ass story device that you can find monthly and sometimes weekly at the “big two’s” library of titles. Now here’s the “but”, Vaughan does it right. Not only is it super fucking interesting, but it makes the reading experience better the second time. I understood the memory attachment to the finger that Sonny has and how his brain was trying to cope with the loss even while he was sleeping and doped up. When you actually get through all that and cut back to the scene which goes down in slow motion practically, it works because it feels like his brain catching up and remembering the events that led him there. It was exactly how the story device should be used. Vaughan was as impressive as ever and this issue is probably going to be one of my personal favorites of the series.
I hate dreams in stories and especially comics, they’re usually total bullocks and due to the medium it’s rarely effective with the art. However, Martin really nails it in this issue. Granted he’s using Vaughan’s story, but the quick transition from a good dream to a nightmare and the altering of memories to fit the dream was perfect. Then he follows that with some fantastic slow-motion gun play and action that was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a comic. It was fantastic and felt like I was watching a movie. The story is great in this issue, but the art makes it incredible. Martin is one of the best in the industry currently.
If you love comic books and I mean love the medium not just superheroes, then there is no reason you shouldn’t be reading this series. The creative team is perfectly balanced and show why comic books are an amazing medium. Sure a story like this could easily be adapted, but then you would lose Martin’s art which is the breath of life into the entire story. I’m very impressed how quickly these issues are coming out and that they’re basically released when they’re ready meaning that they can hit at any time, as was the case with this issue. Do yourself a big favor and head over to PanelSyndicate.com and buy all three or at the very least download them for a price of nothing and see what you’re missing out on and then consider supporting the creators. The better the support the better this model will do and I think it’s proven to be successful when your product is worth the purchase.
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Marcos Martin
Colorist: Muntsa Vincente
Price: Pay What You Want
Release Date: 6/28/13