Brubaker has a reasonably painless reference to the first arc here, letting that arc’s protagonist have a little cameo. Then people talk about him a bit.
It’s problematic because Brubaker’s writing the character differently here, so it attracts more attention than it should. Otherwise, it’s all very solid, once again.
I think my favorite part of the issue–and I’m not even sure if Phillips did it–is this map the villains all look at to plot their plan. It’s just a map, sure, but there’s something very full about it–like it gives the reader a look at this Criminal world without having a bunch of exposition to wade through.
I’m not sure if it’s intentional, but Brubaker’s exposition this issue sounds a lot like Kubrick’s The Killing narration (that narration being from Lionel White’s source novel). It gives Criminal a tone, something Brubaker forced on the first arc.