Criminal: The Sinners 2 (November 2009)

Brubaker opens the issue with some terrible adjective use, so I started out ready to nitpick. Of course, he didn’t have to prove me right… but he went ahead and did so anyway. I really loathe these types of reviews, because I really do love Brubaker’s work. It’s just… fallen off since he’s gotten to Marvel. Swan dived, actually.

Oh, before I get the complaints–great art from Phillips. It’s always great art from Phillips, but this issue he really gets to do a lot.

All right, the laundry list.

It’s just too contrived. Brubaker expects the reader to make a significant time and money investment and he’s not providing anything in return.

Brubaker further establishes Tracy as a hero (he cares for hookers and the disenfranchised).

Finally, Brubaker makes the killers Tracy’s hunting kids–and the only way to redeem the series is for Tracy to kill them all.


Writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.

One Comment

  1. vernon wiley

    Although at times you can fault Brubes for making Tracy into a “lovable” protagonist, this arc still read better than the last, with it’s wholly unsympathetic leads. Brubes output has diminished quite a bit of late; not sure whether its due to outside possibilities, or just a mid career break. I agree it would really help him to take a hard look at what he’s been doing lately and make some aesthetic choices as to what he’s creating will stand up to his own scrutiny. Of course, you could have Phillips illustrate Dick & Jane and it’ll still be a must read. I can’t remember if you’ve nailed his side series Incognito. It’s totally silly, but leaves more of an impression on comics fans than Criminal. At this point it seems Brubaker is at a crossroads with comics, but I think its better to have him around than not. His main characters need to be a little more unpredictable, something Darwyn Cooke nails well with his Parker noir series. It has problems of it’s own, but the lead is still interesting.

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