Sunday, 31 January 2016

Private Eye (Deluxe Edition) by Brian K Vaughan

Private Eye (Deluxe Edition) written by Brian K Vaughan and illustrated by Marcos Martin is a self-contained science fiction comic. This edition contains all ten issues of what I gather was originally a web comic (maybe?). As mentioned in the blurb, they are presented in landscape format, which makes it ideal to read on iPad (although my ARC was a digital version of the hard cover, so it may not be relevant.

Because retailers, readers, and ROBERT KIRKMAN demanded it, the online sensation from PanelSyndicate.com’s BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (SAGA, PAPER GIRLS) and MARCOS MARTIN (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange: The Oath) is finally coming to print with this gorgeous deluxe hardcover edition, presented in the story’s original widescreen format!

Years after the digital cloud “bursts” and exposes all of our worst secrets, THE PRIVATE EYE is set in an inevitable future where everyone has a secret identity. Following an unlicensed P.I. who is thrust into the most important case of his life, this sci-fi mystery explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience.

This was an interesting read. It's set in the future after the internet ceases to exist and everyone is obsessed with privacy. Most people (over 18) go around with masks or other disguises on and are allowed to have several identities (kind of how you can currently have several online identities...). The main character is a private eye, not dissimilar to the usual archetype. However, rather than police, the law-keepers of this world are the Fourth Estate, i.e. the press. And our PI lead isn't so much called a PI by most people, but one of the paparazzi.

That's a bit of a weird set-up, as is the fact that we're first introduced to the main character in a rather negative light. Basically, he seems like a peeping tom and I, at least, kind of expected the other guy, who looked more like a detective to be the main character. But he turned out to be a minor part of the plot. As a result, it took me a while to warm to the main character.

The science fictional setting was actually the main source of humour, especially when it came to the grandfather complaining about not having internet or wifi or anyone to play online games with. I didn't enjoy the part where his (i.e. our) generation was demonised, but you can't win them all.

Overall I found this an entertaining read. I, of course, particularly liked that it was a complete and self-contained story. It wasn't my favourite story ever (I mean, I still like Saga more, as far as Vaughan stories go), but it was sufficiently entertaining and adequately science fictional.

4 / 5 stars

First published: December 2015, Image Comics
Series: I don't think there's more than contained here, but I may be wrong
Format read: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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