Finally, a good issue.
Maybe if Brubaker had opened with this issue–with some structural editing, of course–I’d feel a little different about Criminal. For the first time, in issue four of five, he shows the reader something about the likely unreliable narrator instead of telling the reader all about him. As much as I hate using workshop babble–showing is always better than telling (unless the point is in the telling, which is certainly not the case in Criminal).
This issue the romantic interest’s daughter gets kidnapped. I was so untrustworthy of Brubaker, I didn’t even believe she had a daughter. Hey, she still might not have a daughter. It all could be a bigger trick. Because Criminal is presented as the next hipster indie comic sensation (which it wasn’t, problems aside, it’s still too well-written for that success), I always just assume Brubaker’s going to write for that target audience.
Coward, Part Four; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.