Vic Boone: Malfunction Murder

Vic Boone is a former motorcycle stunt rider and current P.I.  Down on his luck but cocky as all get out, he takes a job involving a corporate trophy wife, mysterious murders, and an experimental form of A.I.  Vic is in over his head, and that’s just the way he likes it!

Shawn Aldridge was kind enough to send over the first issue of Vc Boone when it came out.  I really enjoyed it and was hopeful that more issues would follow.  I was pleased to see that, not only did they come out, but now they are being collected in Vic Boone: Malfunction Murder (in this month’s Previews).

Aldridge’s writing strikes a delicate balance between the noir feel of a hardboiled gumshoe story, and the laconic narrative that comes with living in a sci-fi future where the most amazing things are just matter of fact.  I found myself smirking several times at Boone’s dialogue as he took a decidedly old-school approach to a futuristic problem.  But that is the hallmark of any good detective.  They have to be at odds with the world in which they live.  Vic Boone is definitely a man at odds.

In my review of the first issue I was impressed by the world Aldridge created, but was not as impressed with some of the characters.  I was pleased to see that some of the silliness disappeared in the latter issues and Adridge introduces characters more in keeping with the overall feel of the story.  The introduction of Savannah, Vic’s ex-girlfriend, in to the mix was welcome.  She’s a bad-ass woman in the vein of Foxy Brown.  She is more woman than Boone can handle, and she speaks the truth.   The fact that Boone refuses to listen to her speaks volumes about Boone’s character as well as their relationship.  It is this kind of deft storytelling that makes Malfunction Murder stand out!

The art of Vic Boone takes a little while to get used to.  Much like a 70′s blaxploitation movie with the music mixed a little loud and the lighting a little too bright, Vic Boone’s world is full of large blocks of fully saturated color.  The characters, settings, and action are often reduced to their most basic form, with color used to indicate differences.  It is a twist on the noir trope of using dark shadows and harsh lighting to make a scene more dramatic.  It makes for intriguing visuals unlike anything else on the stands.

There is a bonus short story at the end of the book that shows Boone working as a debt collector for a group of women known as “The Sisters”.  They were mentioned in the main story as well.  It is an intriguing idea which adds just a bit

more depth to the character.  Hopefully, in future installments, we will learn a bit more about these women and Vic’s relationship to them.

As with any good mystery, there are twists and turns at almost every step.  Aldridge keeps thereader guessing all the way up to the big reveal at the end.  Along the way he makes sure that Boone is put through his paces.  Vic Boone is an enjoyable read for fans of mysteries and sci-fi.

In addition to the trade coming out in May, Vic is also appearing in a Free Comic Book Day book with art by “Kill All Monsters” artist Jason Copland.  Do yourself a favor and check them both out!

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