REVIEW: Miami Vice: Remix #1

Story: Joe Casey
Art: Jim Mahfood
Letters: Jim Mahfood
Colors: Justin Stewart
Publisher: Lion Forge/IDW
Release Date: March 25, 2015

Tubbs and Crockett are at it again. They rip through the streets of Miami on another undercover assignment – tracking a shadowy drug lord – all the while managing to be the coolest detectives ever to do it.

The story is simple enough, but Casey walks this oft-treaded trail with panache. WhilTubbs_Crockett_car_chasee there are few surprises in terms of plot or pacing, this book doesn’t seem to be about breaking new ground as much as reliving the glory days of New Wave excess. Some of the language is a little (well, a lot) more mature than anything Don Johnson or Philip Michael Thomas ever uttered during their tenures, but this book feels a lot more like the original show than the Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx update.

The book isn’t all flashy cars and scantily-clad women. About half-way through the first issue we learn that the drug traffickers have started moving a new “product”; bath salts. As you may have guessed the comic book version has about the same effect that the real version is reported to have had on people. That is, nigh instant zombification for users, followed by uncontrollably violent impulses. MVR_Oh_Sh0t

Well, mostly uncontrollable, as a group of the recently bathed carry out a coordinated attack on our two-mMVR_Just_a_Tastean vice squad, to little avail. The episode implies a certain level of intelligence still present in the addicted, as well as an as yet unidentified puppet-master pulling their strings.

Mahfood’s art captures the material decade’s essence perfectly; angular shapes and hard edges abound in this comic-out-of-time. The style deliberately creates a bubble effect; it’s not immediately clear if the setting is the 80s or if it just seems that way. The color patterns certainly reinforce the idea that we’re in a recreated version of modern Miami, especially the nightclub scene, but the shading and deep shadows give the book a post-modern edge as well. I suppose the argument could be made that because “Remix” is in the title, that the story takes place in present times, but I’d like to think that we’re seeing Tubbs and Crockett in the same decade, except from a slightly different perspective.

Miami Vice: Remix #1 is a great lead-off for what looks like a good-old fashioned cops and robbers ( or drug dealers) story. Despite that somewhat heavy theme, this is still an exciting book that revisits a franchise that’s remembered fondly by some of us.

By: A.C.

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