Dick Tracy Meets the Punks, by Max Collins and Rick Fletcher ISBN 0448171600
Four out of five stars
The tough as nails no nonsense Dick Tracy shows a bit of a softer side in the opening of the first story. Dick consents to taking an extended vacation, which is a bit out of character, as he has accumulated vacation time. Dick and the very pregnant Tess are going to Washington State to visit their daughter. However, it would not be a Dick Tracy story without the inclusion of some weird criminals, which are the punks in the title.
One is a failing punk rocker that has a female sidekick, in the typical style of the strip, their names are “Bony and Claudine.” With the help of their actor friend Vitamin Flintheart, the Tracys manage to reach their destination, but then encounter the two villains of the story. Naturally, it all works out in the end, with Tess giving birth under unusual circumstances.
The villain of the second story is Quiver Trembly, a female that suffers from continuous shaking. Using Tracy’s child carrier as a transport mechanism, she manages to get a gun aboard an airliner and attempts to hijack it in order to free her imprisoned brother. Of course, the hero foils the foolishly concocted plot and the plane lands safely.
The literally square-jawed Dick Tracy is once again unyielding in his approach to criminals, never hesitant to use force in order to deal with them. In both these stories, his children and wife Tess are also involved, so he shows some emotion other than anger, which humanizes him a bit.
Both stories are essentially vintage Dick Tracy, yet the proximity of his family lightens him up a bit, a positive development.