SPOILER ALERT: Posts exist stating that this story, with Mrs. Flattop, is a “short intermission” leading up to the extended (promised?) Moon Maid story. (Frankly, I thought that was what the Jumbler story was)As such (a “short intermission”), I don’t expect much out of this meeting of past Tracy villains.Other posts indicate, and I believe this is true, that Gould did manage to kill off his best villains – often in the style that Sweatbox went out.And I agree with other posters that, as a villain, Sweatbox had some real possibilities, but he was killed off way too early. Many questions abound – why did he do it, when did he do it, how did he manage hiding the corpses in his family mausoleum, and was he currently engaged in these nefarious affairs (especially since he was now close buddies with the mayor)…I don’t agree with other posters that Measles was prematurely killed off. To me, he was just another punk whose only motive (at the time of his present appearance) was revenge – a concern and a weakness pointed out by current posters about the appearance of Mrs. Flattop.However, his death rolls into the overall question raised by many posters as to whether Dick Tracy has sufficient worthy opponents in this game.Many posts indicate that, just two years ago, the strip was dying. Clearly, Curtis and Staton were hired to breathe new life into the franchise, if that were possible. And the multitude of posts the strip attracts daily attests that they are doing something right, so far.Looking back at my posts, and the posts of others, brings to mind thoughts shared with me by the current host (who will remain unnamed) of a Chicago radio show that is also an institution. Previously hosted by two people, when those people were no longer associated with the radio station, one of the previous hosts said to the new host,“Make the show your own.”This is what Curtis and Staton are doing with Dick Tracy.And, I might add, perhaps the perceived lack of success of previous post-Gould authors may have been that they did NOT “make the show (their) own.” Yes, they killed off characters they had the most difficulty with, such as Moon Maid. But I don’t think they succeeded in making the strip their own strip.Perhaps they were looking for a “golden age Gould” to go back to. And there have been sufficient comments in these posts to suggest that, perhaps unfortunately, pre-Moon Maid wasn’t the real “golden age” of Dick Tracy.Was Dick Tracy a crime drama or sci-fi romp? Hard to say. Criminals were often physically deformed monstrosities. But to me, the introduction of the two-way wrist radio is what moved Tracy into sci-fi back in the 1930s. So, Moon Maid didn’t begin the sci-fi era – but I will agree with detractors that she certainly pushed the envelope more than any other element Gould added.But what do all these comments have in common, whether we agree or disagree on the direction Curtis and Staton are going with this strip? This:It’s Curtis and Staton’s strip, not ours. And it’s not Gould’s, anymore, either.And I do agree that, two years ago, the strip was, indeed, dying. Today, each daily strip garners dozens of comments; hopefully, that means people are reading the strip. So, like it or not, the strip is better off today than it was two years ago.Perhaps a better question may be: Would “golden age Gould” pass muster today?
Jul 27, 2017