“Miami Vice Remix” #3 continues the series’ energy-filled run of high stakes undercover Miami street action, juggling several different plots to surprisingly efficient results. The creative team of Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood, both known for their renegade creative styles, continue their “why not” attitude of throwing together wild concepts and seeing what sticks as Crockett and his pet crockettdile Elvis square off against his ex-partner’s brother while Tubbs experiments with the Miami bath salts that have been plaguing the streets, turning users into Voodoo-fueled zombies. At no point in the last sentence was the plot of the comic book, based (loosely) on an ’80s NBC television show about cool undercover cops, hyperbolized or exaggerated.
Casey, having used the first two issues to allow readers to get into the rhythms of his take on Miami’s most notorious police, begins pulling out all the stops in this issue. It takes no time getting to the action as Sonny must contend with his dead partner Eddie’s brother, who believes Crockett had a hand in his demise. Jim Mahfood unleashes a stylized bloodbath between the two, exaggerating and bending the action in his street art style. Mahfood is an inspired choice for artist as his work really lends itself to the dark trappings of the stories told here. His work somehow strikes a balance between complete disregard for the trappings of the comic book format and clear easy-to-follow storytelling. His character designs are fun and weird; Tubbs sports a high-top fade and a serious Big Daddy Kane look, for example.
Casey and Mahfood are fearless with this adaptation; this is almost fan fiction, the wild imaginings of someone who idolized the show and scribbled “what ifs” in a notebook while it was on the air. Some characters are a little out of voice from the show, but it’s been off the air for so long, that hardly matters. And in a world where zombies appear and everyone inexplicably has a cell phone in the mid-’80s, it’s a minor issue.
The only knock against the comic is Mahfood’s lettering. It keeps in tone with the DIY aesthetic of the art but, at times is almost indecipherable due either to its size or the placement of letters in the bubbles. Readers might need to concentrate a little harder on the words than they would for other books in order to suss out what is going on. Ultimately, the art is expressive enough to drive the story, but the lettering does sometimes become a distraction.
Lion Forge and IDW are making some very exciting comics that no one is expecting, with “Miami Vice Remix” being perfect for anyone looking for some wild action, strange plot twists, and cool-as-hell visuals.