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Goldie Vance #1 (of 4)

Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Brittney Williams
Colors by Sarah Stern
BOOM! Box, a division of BOOM! Entertainment

I love detective stories. I grew up in Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys, and as an adult I love Raymond Chandler novels and mystery television like Veronica Mars and iZombie. This week, BOOM! introduces a great new amateur sleuth sure to charm adults and children alike.

Goldie is a plucky young woman who works at her dad’s fancy Florida hotel. Officially, she parks cars. In her downtime, she helps the hotel’s resident detective close cases, following her friendships with hotel staff to find everything from a lost child to a priceless necklace. In this issue’s action climax, Goldie has to win a drag race using her knowledge of physics as much as her courage.

Goldie is a terrific new character, and kids are going to love her. I am always happy to see women of color represented as more than best friends to the story’s hero. Sure, she’s sort of a sidekick to the official hotel detective, but he’s out of the spotlight, and both of them are seen as competent professionals. She’s less polished than Veronica Mars, using too-casual language with a client and breaking the law to close a case, but this comes across as exuberant youth and not a character flaw.

Come on by Ultimate Comics in Raleigh or Chapel Hill to pick up the introduction of your new favorite detective! Hide an extra copy for the kids in your life, and see if they can follow some clues to find it – by the time they practice being junior gumshoes, they’re going to be primed for Goldie’s adventures.

-MATT CONNER for Ultimate Comics