Criminal 1 (February 2008)

Such a good issue….

Brubaker’s able to get more content in because he’s got an increased page count but also because he’s concentrating on doing a standalone story. It turns out it’s not exactly standalone, but the issue has a beginning, middle and end. There’s no messing around with being deceptive in the narrative, to find something to reveal.

As much as I like Brubaker’s work, his staple of revealing a hidden truth about something in the past gets old. Just having him write a story–a continuous narrative stroke, maybe flashing back to reveal information to the reader but not the protagonist–is nice.

At the core of this issue is the relationship between the characters. The dialogue in their conversations is some of Brubaker’s best; he establishes the characters, their history, their relationship, all in one issue.

The great Phillips art is just a bonus.

An excellent comic.


Second Chance in Hell; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

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