LIBRARY JOURNAL -- In 2076 United States, everyone has a secret
identity. Decades earlier, Internet security was breached, and
people's private information was shared with the world, ruining
lives. So the World Wide Web was abolished, and privacy is
society's paramount concern, with most wearing masks or costumes in
public. A Los Angeles woman named Taj hires an outlaw private
detective code-named "P.I." to investigate her, to find out if her
secrets are buried deep enough-but when Taj is murdered, P.I. is in
the crosshairs of a powerful figure with an unthinkable plan.
Vaughan's public libraries unfortunately have circulation records
less privacy-sensitive than those at this reviewer's current
library (though Vaughan's librarians protect their patrons'
information with deadly force). On top of his engaging thriller
plotline, Vaughan presents many compelling (if sometimes
outrageous) speculations about his projected future society: for
instance, without the Internet to distract them, engineers and
inventors started making actual practical advances in fields such
as renewable energy and magno-cars. Martin's depiction of future
L.A. is appropriately colorful but seedy. VERDICT A cool,
satirical, thought-provoking futuristic noir for
BOOKLIST (STARRED) -- In the future, everyone will have an alias. In a world where all online secrets have been revealed, people now adopt aliases and masks to hide their private lives; it's the perfect place for a private investigator, like PI. When his client is murdered hours after assigning him, PI and his assistants violently unravel a conspiracy bigger than any of them, aiming to change the course of society. Vaughan (Saga , 2012), known for his unique world building and suspenseful story arcs, has possibly outdone himself with this one. Combining the archetypes of a gripping noir mystery with commentary on contemporary obsession with social media, he tells a story as poignant as it is compelling. In one sense, calling this unique volume a graphic novel does not do it justice, as the oblong, widescreen format of the book makes it more cinematic than merely graphic, expertly mimicking the very film genres that inspired it. Martin's character design elevates this to breathtaking art, adding a richly colored, retro-futurist flare to every costume and backdrop. With stunning artwork, propulsive sequential-art storytelling, and a thought-provoking premise, this is truly one of a kind.