Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin recently released a new digital-only comic called The Private Eye. Set in a future era in which the internet is no longer used, the series follows a mysterious figure who seems to deal primarily in information. Whatever knowledge a person hires him to find, he will search for and ultimately discover if paid the right amount.
The world of this comic is utterly strange and new. Unlike today, where people’s identities are public knowledge and personal information is readily available, this future is far more secretive. Many devices disguise a person’s identity and face, and people’s rights to anonymity seem to be highly respected. This may be due to the fact that the comic mentions a time when the internet crashed and personal information poured out into society, where photos, searches, and all manner of secrets came to light. Everyone’s privacy was horribly damaged.
Along with colorist Muntsa Vicente, Marcos Martin has built this world with his grand artwork. Though not very realistic, the art is vibrant and expressive, and accurately depicts this curious new world. At times it seemed almost cartoonish, yet far too interesting and attractive to suffer from it.
Vaughan develops the beginnings of quite an exciting tale, introducing a young but seasoned investigator hired for a rather strange assignment: to find out as much as possible about a woman, ostensibly so she knows what her upcoming background check will find. Though the private investigator taking a case and finding more than he bargained for may be somewhat cliché, the culture it is set in makes it original and new. The fact that secrets are commonplace and respected in this society changes the game. This is the beginning of quite a long plot; Vaughan states on their website, Panel Syndicate, that he plans for it to last around ten issues. Because of this, very little of the true plot can be ascertained in the first issue. But that is not a detriment to the comic in any way. The first issue sets up a mystery that could be far deeper than expected. After reading, I was left with an extreme curiosity. The compelling dialogue, deepening mystery, and intriguing characters all contributed to make a comic that I will closely follow. There were no glaring faults or inconsistencies, no poorly drawn scenes, and no boring parts to the story. I give “The Private Eye #1” a solid 10/10.