Friday, 26 August 2016

Scene of the Crime Review (Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark)

Think of a clich├ęd LA noir plot: missing persons, shady organisations, stake-outs, private dicks with drinking problems, the occasional gun-fight; that’s Scene of the Crime!

This was a miniseries from 1999, early in the careers of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark and also their first collaboration together - years later they would go on to co-create the celebrated Gotham Central for DC and have a successful run on Daredevil for Marvel. Brubaker’s greenness really shows though and Scene of the Crime is definitely not one of his better books! 

There are far too many panels on each page, each one crammed with unwieldy, clunky exposition as our narrator clumsily meanders through this long-winded narrative. Reading a handful of these pages is like wading through sludge and it doesn’t help that you’re not reading anything remarkable besides the standard police procedural crap. 

The pacing is ultra-slow and it doesn’t get more exciting or pick up any as the story nears its end – it’s a slooooow drag all the way through! It also has an extremely convoluted plot whose muddled twists and turns I just didn’t care about as it and the characters aren’t at all interesting. It ends unpleasantly probably for “dark” and “gritty” reasons. 

Even as a big Ed Brubaker fan, I wouldn’t recommend Scene of the Crime. Though Michael Lark’s art is decent, it’s a boring, overwritten and unrewarding trial to struggle through. Check out Brubaker’s Criminal series for far better crime comics.

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