The iconic square-jawed detective’s adventures fighting a menagerie of grotesque villains remain a highlight in the history of comics and of crime fiction in general. This series is ripe to introduce to crime prose readers who haven’t previously ventured into comics.
Chester Gould’s morality play enters the late ’60s, as the cartoonist tackles concepts of retribution, constitutional rights, economic warfare, and Space Age intrigue–all amidst the usual array of murder and violence. The stakes, however, seem higher, and the body count soars: death in space, on the high seas, behind closed doors–by gun, by laser, by asphyxiation, by explosion, and by freezing. The action moves from Earth to the lunar surface as Moon Maid zaps bad guys, Lizz goes undercover, Tracy nearly loses his head–and, when Diet Smith sets up a factory on the moon, will mankind also export greed and murder to its crime-free orbiting satellite? Bad guys include steely mobster Piggy Butcher, Chin Chillar, underworld boss Mr. Intro, and the bootlegger named Posie, among others. Plus the return of Sparkle Plenty and a special feature about the aborted 1967 Dick Tracy TV show from the same producer who made Batman a pop culture icon. Included are all strips from July 3, 1967 to April 2, 1969.