As the name might imply, Private Eye by Brian K Vaughn is at its heart and detective story. In fact, it is a fairly classic one. A mysterious lady steps into the P.I’s office with a job. After some reluctance, he agrees to start on it in the morning. Once the client returns home, she is murdered by a familiar face. The client’s sister assumes the P.I. did the deed and confronts him only to end up employing his services to hunt down the murderer. The investigation leads to stealing information, car chases, blackmail, bribery, gun battles, and a large conspiracy. A fairly straightforward and oft used tale, where it gets interesting is the setting. Vaughn places the whole story in a future where the cloud burst and everyone’s online secrets were spilled. Now, there is no internet and everyone has a secret identity. When people go outside, go shopping, interact, even when they answer their own door, they don masks and fake names.
Vaughn does an excellent idea meshing together the old detective trope with the sci-fi future. In doing so, he keeps the story fresh and speculates on a future obsessed with real world privacy. Martin and Vicente do excellent work with the art and colors, creating compelling and dynamic visuals, richly portraying this weird future but without seeming too busy as Ellis’ Transmetropolitan does at times.
If you like Vaughn’s other work (Saga, Paper Girls, Ex Machina), enjoy a good pulp mystery with a dose of sci-fi like Caves of Steel, or just want to pick up a good Graphic novel, then I would recommend Private Eye.