April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Jack Lord’s exploits seem mainland generic compared with the “tropical noir” cocktail served up by writer B. Clay Moore and artist Steven Griffin. Oahu, 1953: A scruffy hipster PI named Byrd takes on a stolen-car-recovery case, only to stumble into a mystery involving kidnapping, warrior ghosts, and zombies. First-time writer Moore knows his hardboiled storytelling but is also committed to his backdrop research, even including a retro-Hawaiian culture guide in each issue. Fellow freshman Griffin’s pastel-infused visuals are just tiki-rific. Comic-book ’em, Danno. (Sorry…couldn’t resist.)

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