Saturday, 16 February 2019

Criminal #2 Review (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips)

So if you read the first issue and you’re reading the second, you’re gonna be wondering what the fuuuuck is this? Because Ed Brubaker totally ignores the Lawless storyline set up in issue one and tells a completely new storyline in Criminal #2: Bad Weekend! 

Instead, the protagonist is another recurring character, Jake, the cartoonist we last saw in Volume 4: Bad Night, who is tasked with chaperoning his former mentor, a sleazy old comics pro called Hal Crane, around a comics convention. Except old Hal is deep into some sordid fucked up shit and is dragging Jake along for the ride! 

It’s another quality issue from Brubaker/Phillips - was there ever any doubt? The characters are sharply realised and compelling, the story is unpredictable and fun, the art is great. The only thing is that I’m fairly well versed in the unsavoury nature of the old comics business so I wasn’t as taken with, and a little weary of, a rehashing of stories about creators getting ripped off and becoming resentful and bitter in old age, etc. 

Other than that though, Criminal #2 is another great issue in this brilliant new run of the series. I’m interested to see how this ties into the Lawless storyline - maybe Brubaker is going for a Pulp Fiction-style narrative structure, but more ambitious, set across years? - though, even if it doesn’t, it’s still a damn good time.

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