Copernicus Jones is a hardboiled android detective battling the robot mobS

There are eight million stories in the Future City; this is one of them. Copernicus Jones is your typical wise-cracking private eye: he's got a weakness for betting on sports games and he can't say no to a leggy dame with a fat pocketbook. But beneath the hat and trenchcoat, he's all robot.

Matt Wilson writes Copernicus Jones for Agreeable Comics — the webcomics network that also churned out the delightfully cruel lost in space comic The Loneliest Astronauts — and Daniel Butler illustrates the robot detective. The pair opts for a fairly straightforward noir detective story, right down to the femme fatale who steps into Copernicus' office with thigh-high fishnets and a sneaking suspicion that her husband has fallen in with the M.O.B. (that's the Mechanized Operative Brotherhood, where the wiseguys swear in binary).

It's those kinds of details that make Copernicus Jones such a fun read. Amidst the expected betrayals, the rough-and-tumble goons, the shoot 'em up car chases, Copernicus talks to his Bookie v.30; he comments that the fee for his new job will "keep me in replacement screws and 10W-40 for the foreseeable future;" at a Nighthawks inspired diner, he orders a plate of fuel orbs, prompting the waitress to grumble "That's all you types every get." As straight as Wilson and Butler play their crime tale, they have a great deal of fun playing with the existence of robots in their Dashiell Hammett vision of the future. It remains to be seen whether sophisticated circuitry and a steel jaw are enough to stay one step ahead of the M.O.B.

[Copernicus Jones]