Image Comics 2016
Created by B. Clay Moore & Steve Griffin
Written by B. Clay Moore
Illustrated & Lettered by Jacob Wyatt
Interlude Illustrated by Jason Armstrong
Byrd is a former stateside detective who shot his younger brother to death (for as yet unknown reason) and washed up in Honolulu, where his wartime buddy, detective Mo Kalama, helps find him the occasional case to work in order to make a little extra cash. Unfortunately, the living embodiment of Hawaiian myths and folklore often get in the way of solving said cases. Kahami is a former waitress who’s taken on the task of assisting Byrd in running what there is of his business. After Byrd helped solve the murder of her sister, by (the now dead) Bishop Masaki. Chris Dugue is an FBI Agent who’s recently served Byrd with a subpoena from the House of Un-American Activities Committee Anthony Antonio (“the Thinker”) is a former mob consigliere who now runs a gift shop in Honolulu, and may or may not be involved with running the crime rackets left behind in the wake of Masaki’s death. Naturally, we open in Suburban Kansas City.
Okay so the opening here has set alarm bells off for me the moment Susan Summers talks to a Mr. Byrd. Though I gotta say love the early seventies clothes we are seeing here! This is an interview and while I find it highly fascinating that both Byrd’s have their share of snooping, Private Dick’s of sort, and a penchant for trouble I still feel like this Susan character is fishing for more than she’s letting on. I do like the characterization here and seeing how Mike gets into trouble as his own skills are called into question.
So leaving 1972 we go back to Hawaii in 1954 and our main Byrd. I like these two stories as they seem to tie together nicely. Through Jazz music of all things. Now this is the Byrd i’ve missed. Sure he’s a bit a ne’er do well or a schlemiel depending on your point of view but he’s a classic Dick and you’ve got like that. He had an employee of a local Jazz club show up at his office with three shots to the back, what he was doing there, who knows? All we know is that there’s a new mystery afoot.
How the two stories will combine, I have an idea but we’ll see. For now it’s just a setup for what’s to come and for that this is great. Also if you’ve never read a Hawaiian Dick story do yourself a favour read this one. It’s new reader friendly, easy to follow and doesn’t dredge up the past arcs in order for you to enjoy this. Longtime fans will love the Mike entering the Fray and what kind of mishegas that bring.
The two styles of art couldn’t be any more different. Gotta say the 70’s were nailed perfectly and I love the art deco style was used. Byrd’s Hawaiian segment well that was full of a very unique style and full of these great shapes and angles that more evoke a Noir feel to me which is wonderful.
Well Byrd is back and I’m happy that we are getting more Hawaiian Dick! Let the fun times roll.