Review: DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future


The Science Fiction story takes something away from the great detective's charms. Some great artwork is lost beneath a narrative that is difficult to accept or take seriously.
- Advertisement -

Crime still plagues the streets as Michael Avon Oeming takes readers into the future with IDW’s Dick Tracy Forever this week. Future Tech, classic crime fighting, and plot twists abound in this final issue of the great detective’s adventures.

The last issue of Dick Tracy Forever ended on a jaw dropping reveal: Tracy awoke from a Matrix like simulation to find himself in 2031, surrounded by a cast of familiar faces. This issue picks up directly from that reveal, after a brief recap of the main characters and how they have changed physically over time.

DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future
Dick Tracy Forever #4 Credit: IDW Publishing

Forcing Tracy Into The Future

Tracy is suffering from a form of technological jet lag which allows the rest of the cast to bring him up to speed on their current case. As the nature of the crime is revealed, so are the emotional lessons that Tracy has learned on his mind boggling journey.

- Advertisement -

Oeming’s script is heavy handed in the opening pages of this issue, hammering home Tracy’s views on family and the Law. Philosophical questions about the nature of life and God are raised but dealt with curtly by Tracy’s brisk manner. In some places it feels like these ideas are brushed away too quickly despite being the heart of the story Oeming is telling.

There is a feeling that the story is rushed with a desperate need to include all of the references that Oeming wants to get in before the end. He has to pay homage to so many characters and elements from the original comic strip that the narrative focus is lost. Jammed within the references and future technology are some wonderful scenes that are very Dick Tracy in style. These are the moments that shine in this comic and go to show what Oeming could achieve if given more time to establish his stories.

DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future
Dick Tracy Forever #4 Credit: IDW Publishing

Future Art

Just like Chester Gould’s original strip in the 1960’s, part of the charm of Dick Tracy is lost when too many science fiction elements are added. Gould began to lose his way with the introduction of Moon based continuities and the serial drifted away from the police investigation to Flash Gordon style adventure. In this issue of Dick Tracy Forever, the influence of alternative realities and super computers have diluted the interesting and unique features of a Tracy story. It is kind of fun, like a novelty, throw away comic, but is not as compelling as the first couple of issues, or the original strips.

Oeming’s artwork is still as bold and brash as previous issues. There are moments where he appears to be channelling Frank Miller’s Sin City in stlye with heavy black lines and panels drowned in shadows. At other times, the characters look like they have escaped from Futurarama. The mix of comedic and serious panels makes some of the transitions awkward and the panels appear cramped especially with the amount of speech Oeming gives the characters.

DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future
Dick Tracy Forever #4 Credit: IDW Publishing

Shawn Lee does an impressive job of placing the speech balloons around the action in the panels and manages to give the lettering some character. The use of different shaped speech balloon’s help greatly in this, unfortunately Lee cannot disguise the vast amount of text filling each page. Speech heavy scripts can work, and a character like Dick Tracy lends himself to such comics, however the contrast with the mad cap science fiction narrative is an uncomfortable juxtaposition in places.

The use of bold, flat colors is a prime example of something that works for part of the comic but causes problems at other times. Taki Soma’s blocks of color are striking on some pages, making the character’s pop from the page. But when the same approach is applied to the backgrounds, the overall effect is too much and the emphasis is not strong enough.


Dick Tracy Forever is a fun science fiction comic but the heavy handed script doesn’t allow the reader to become engrossed in the story. The constant references and busy panels act as a barrier for the reader so a lot of the beauty and commentary is lost. This final issue is a disappointment because Oeming has already proven he can tell a good Dick Tracy story.


Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!
Darryll Robson
Darryll Robson
Comic book reader, reviewer and critic. Waiting patiently for the day they announce 'Doctor Who on The Planet of the Apes'.


If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

Review: DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future 4


Review: DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future 5

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.


Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

Review: DICK TRACY FOREVER #4 Storms Blindly Into The Future 6


COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!