BOOM! Box’ Goldie Vance is a perfect all-ages comic but it’s still a fun read for adults if subsequent issues are anything like the first. Goldie is a teenage heroine who works at the Florida resort her father manages. Whenever something or someone goes missing, Goldie is hot on the trail and because she’s so astute and so clever, there isn’t a case that she hasn’t been able to crack so far. Goldie fancies herself a detective and longs for her father and Walt, the resort’s in-house investigator, to let her assume a role investigating crimes at the resort. This is much to Walt’s chagrin as Goldie is like any teenaged girl. She’s bubbly, friendly, somewhat sarcastic, a bit stubborn, and confident that she has all the answers. When one guest’s jeweled necklace goes missing, Goldie and Walt start questioning the resort staff… Until her shift as a parking attendant starts.
The investigation doesn’t stop, however, and Goldie goes on a small adventure in an effort to retrieve the necklace to its rightful owner and help her friends out. She’s not afraid to take risks, but she’s not careless. She’s smart enough to know her limits which makes her a great character for an all ages comic like Goldie Vance. She’s also a young black girl that is living carefree as all kids should. She lives an exciting life living in a resort, her mom performs as a mermaid across town, her father is stern but caring, and she lives like the world is her oyster. Considering Goldie Vance takes place in the 1960s, this might be hard to believe. And I do get it. It’s hard to think of a young black girl being this happy and hopeful in the 1960s south. It is hard to suspend that disbelief at times, which may or may not count against the book. It is definitely marketed towards kids, but the history nut in me is torn.
Still, I found it refreshing. Growing up reading Archie comics, I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d had a comic like Goldie Vance available to me when I was growing up. I would definitely recommend it for kids and adults. The mystery at the beginning of Goldie Vance #1 might be easy for adults to decipher, but the ending isn’t one that you would expect. I know I can’t wait to pick up the second issue tomorrow. That’s a major credit to writer Hope Larson. I’m not usually a fan of all ages comics, but she got me with this one.
Artist Brittney Williams did a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of a Florida resort in the 1960s. The colors are vibrant but not so loud or bright that they’re too much on the eyes. Imagine one of those hotels on Miami Beach and what they must have looked like back in the 60s, but without all the tackiness, and you’ve got the color scheme for Goldie Vance. The colors are totally Miami Vice but muted and less gauche. The characters are drawn in a way that’s reminiscent of animes like Astro Boy or Speed Racer, right down to the eyebrows. There is also some similarities to American cartoons from the 60s like Mr. Peabody & Sherman. As a nerd of most things retro, I was in art heaven. Williams and Larson work together like peanut butter and jelly and Goldie Vance is the end result.
If you plan on picking up the first and second issues for the child in your life, you might want to pick up a copy for yourself while you’re at it.