Review - Pirate Eye: A Pirate's Life is Not for Me

A pirate's life is typically not easy, especially when you're an observant pirate who tends to say more than he should. Actions that are often seen as a portent of mutiny and an ability that affords at least the possibility of a life after piracy: being a private eye. Everyone's favorite "pirate eye" returns in Pirate Eye: A Pirate's Life is Not for Me from Action Lab Comics.

The issue brings back the same team in writer Joe Grahn and artist Carl Yonder.

Smitty is back in the thick of things. Literally, back in the thick of piracy, as he's tapped for a case that calls upon his tumultuous past as a pirate. It's that past that got him where he is in the present, but he's still viewed as the best chance at recovering a valuable treasure map stolen by a defector. Since he's a detective and a pirate, that of course means things aren't quite as straightforward as they appear.

Grahn keeps the same tone and feel from the first book, Pirate Eye: Mark of the Black Widow. Smitty gets a little less time to show off his investigative skills in the second one-shot; instead, relying on his wit and ability to escape trouble. For a one-shot, there's a rather intricate plot woven together that boasts a whole lot of fighting, a whole lot of mistrust and even more shadiness on everyone's part. The idea is that Smitty is fighting both for his life in a sense, as well as some revenge on his former crewmates.

The dialogue stays sufficiently in the era, ensuring the reader isn't taken out of the time. Smitty seems ahead of his time in a way, but he's still a pirate at heart, despite his intelligence and observation skills. The issue mixes in his past with present very fluidly, affording a fuller picture of him as a character. He really is an interesting lead and making a pirate a private detective is a fascinating combination.

Yonder's art continues the gritty and dark tone. The bulk of the issue takes place asea and on a pirate ship, both environments that Yonder presents very effectively and realistically. Smitty's persona is weathered; he's clearly been through a lot as a pirate and is parlaying that experience into his new career as a private detective. The characters wear their emotions really well, with some scared, some brutish and others reluctant.

Smitty is an interesting character. A former pirate turned detective is still a new and fresh concept and Smitty proves that both professions have their perks and drawbacks. While the first issue showcased more of his private investigator side, Pirate Eye: A Pirate's Life is Not for Me shows more of his pirate side. The marriage of the two works out well and leads to some very interesting situations.

Pirate Eye: A Pirate's Life is Not for Me is available for pre-order with Diamond Order Code FEB130670.


  1. Jonathan, Thank you for the review of Pirate Eye! Happy to hear you liked the book.


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