Criminal 9 (September 2007)

It’s in film noir’s nature to have a double-cross, to have a secret inopportunely revealed and have it affect the protagonist’s plans, whether he be a good guy or a bad guy.

So I’m not surprised Brubaker has both of those elements in this issue (maybe twice for each). But Criminal isn’t a film. It’s not a standalone narrative, regardless of story arcs. It’s a serialized narrative, which means having a double-cross and revelation once a story arc is tiring. Even when it’s done well, like this issue.

It’s different, for example, from a TV show where there’s the weekly “eureka” moment, because those moments are part of the show’s package. I don’t buy Criminal to get a neat or funny double-cross.

That problem aside, this issue might be even better than the last.

Brubaker’s exposition is so well-written, the plot probably doesn’t matter at all.


Lawless, Part Four; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

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