Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Pull List: Miami Vice Remix #1 Review

You know, I love the Miami Vice TV show, enough that I'll be doing a challenge in August, so when I found out that there was going to be a comic book based series, I was ecstatic. There's something about the campiness of 80s television, especially when it was trying to be gritty and realistic, and Miami Vice was the king of that shit. It's not that it didn't tackle hard topics - rape, homophobia, drug use, etc. - but when compared to The Wire or The Shield, it can seem a little Pollyanna. Blarg, I'm getting ahead of myself here, and I'm also derailing, so ... back to why I'm actually typing.

Miami Vice: Remix #1*
Via Previews World
Interpretation or reimagining source material is a tricky thing. Not all fans are going to be happy with what you've done, irate that you would touch something sacred to them, but others might prefer the newer version, finding its use of the backdrops and characters to be more poignant or resonant. I know I was surprised when I found myself really liking Michael Mann's reboot of Miami Vice back in 2006; it wasn't perfect, but it was how I would have expected the show to progress into the modern age. But this comic? I had the exact opposite experience.

I feel bad for saying this, but this issue was a Did Not Finish. I almost never do that. I mean, I read the entire POP run (only four issues, but still), and I loathed that comic. The writing by Joe Casey seemed like it was just trying to be edgy for the sake of the edgy (but then he asterisked out certain letters in the curse words, which I just found weird), and I barely knew what was going on. Where he really lost me was his portrayal of Castillo. Barry Shabaka Henley did a great job of reinterpreting Castillo in the movie version, but the ultimate Lt. Martin Castillo will always be Edward James Olmos: calm, collected, loyal, and intimidating. But in the comic, he comes off as a giant, ranting dickhead, and I just shook my head. I only made it a few pages after that before abandoning it. Sure, I flipped through the rest of the issue, but that was mainly because of the art.

That is something to which I can give mad props. Jim Mahfood's artwork was spastic and frenetic, sometimes delving into the surreal, and the colors just popped. I loved the early-90s pop-art feel, although it occasionally added to the lack of readability.

Yeah, that's about as much energy as I'm going to put into this review, but I highly recommend reading Shea Hennum's post over at Paste Magazine. It even has some interior art at which you should marvel.

* I think the font choice for Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood's names was kind of a misstep. It looks like his name is Jim Mahfooo. Minor quibble, I know, but I took college classes that specifically ranted about this sort of thing.
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