Oni Press 2015
Written by Greg Rucka
Illustrated by Justin Greenwood
Coloured by Ryan Hill
Lettered by Crank!
If there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind about the talent, skill and imagination of Greg Rucka read this series and those doubts will be laid to rest. I mean a four issue arc titled “The Case of a Cup of Joe” has been an exemplary example of how something so off the wall can become an opportunity for one hell of an entertaining story full just some killer characterization. When this arc started I actually googled the coffee referenced in this story to see if it was real and if you are wondering Kopi is indeed the most expensive coffee in the world. So for that fact, among many others, it keeps such a fan of Greg’s.
I love Ansel and I love opening up this issue with him after having eaten his Doom O’s. There’s something about him that is just endearing and you can’t help but love this kid. Also I kind of like that he’s a lot more self sufficient than he thinks he is.
`Meanwhile Dex was taken from the house by Dove, of course this was after Fuji was taken by the other two. Now i’m sorry but Dex might be what we could refer to as a down on her luck Private Detective, well she does have a gambling problem but I haven’t seen any of that this issue, but she’s a hell of a character and the things we see her do once she’s in a position to do them is spectacular. I love the characterization I mean who else is this quick thinking on her feet as Dex is shown?
I’m a little surprised that we did finally get to meet Dove’s employer finally as in all honesty I figured he’d remain a shadowy figure throughout the tale. I also love the fact that expectation and reality do NOT coincide here too. Whether this was Greg’s direction to Justin I don’t know but I gotta say this isn’t the kind of man I was expecting to see. Again another reason why this is so darn entertaining.
So with everything that happens this issue once Dex get’s rolling really does make it incredibly exciting. I mean her deadbeat sister and that characterization is superbly handled and how she reconciles this entire case in a single event was phenomenally done. The art of the Private Detective story has pretty much been lost to time but it’s so darn nice to see that Greg wants to keep it alive and well. In an age where technology almost all but eliminates the need for one that we’re getting this kind of story and series where work may be sparse Dex is still able to do it and do it in such a way that makes me long for the days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlow.
Also the interior artwork here is phenomenally done. The way the guys have used the pages, panels and brought everyone to life here is remarkable. It so has a modern old school Private Dick thing oozing off each page. Not Noir but something awfully close which is perfect for today’s audience.
This is one of the most consistent and interesting modern throwbacks i’ve ever had the pleasure to read.