Before it was upgraded to an ongoing series, “Goldie Vance” #3 would have been the miniseries’ penultimate issue. Knowing that makes Hope Larson and Brittney Williams’ decisions line up perfectly with the progression of this comic. This is the moment when things take a turn for the worse for Goldie and her father, and now she must solve this case, perhaps more than ever before — and quickly, at that. Fortunately for us, though, this won’t be the last we’ll see of “Goldie Vance.”
In this issue, Larson gives us real consequences for Goldie’s choices in the first two issues. I suspect few readers blinked at the moments when Goldie broke the law (temporarily stealing a car, for example, even though she did return it) in an attempt to get things done. In the real world, of course, this would eventually come back to haunt you, and that’s what Larson delivers here. It’s actually a little fun to see Goldie getting taken down by decisions of her own making; now that she sees these consequences, it means she’ll almost certainly want to make different choices in the future. That means her investigation will be a bit more difficult for her, but this should also result in some even more intriguing storytelling choices; Goldie won’t get to take these shortcuts in the future, and I want to see what Larson does with a warier Goldie.
Even if her decisions hadn’t come back to haunt her this issue, it would still be fun regardless. Larson keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, with each new revelation unspooling new situations and problems that need to be solved. This story arc continually grows and evolves, and I appreciate that careful delivery of ideas here. The clues feel solvable, and the supporting cast feels interesting enough to do a good job of filling out the world of this bygone era. Add in a nice dash of action, and it’s a series that moves at a good clip.
A bunch of this comic’s charm comes from Williams’ art, which feels almost like a series of animation cels. The sleepy-eyed Goldie on the first two pages comes across that way thanks to the way Williams draws her face and her posture as she slumps forward onto the handlebars of the bicycle she’s pushing across the hotel lobby. Speaking of which, the hotel comes across as lush, even as Williams and colorist Sarah Stern make close-ups on just a face look good with some carefully chosen background colors. It’s a neat look that almost reminds me of pop art prints, even as it still tells a good story in a way that’s easy to follow.
“Goldie Vance” has been a charming new addition to store shelves, and this issue is no exception. So long as Larson and Williams want to keep telling stories about Goldie Vance, I’ll keep reading them. Thanks to a fun protagonist, attractive art and clever storylines, you don’t have to be a detective to know you should buy “Goldie Vance.”