Title: Criminal (2019-) #1
Words: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips
Colors: Jacob Phillips
Publication Date: January 9, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “THE RETURN OF THE MOST ACCLAIMED CRIME COMIC OF THE 21ST CENTURY! Hot off their bestselling series KILL OR BE KILLED and their original graphic novel MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, crime comic masters ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS finally return to their most-demanded title — as a new MONTHLY SERIES! In this double-sized (at no additional cost!) debut issue, Teeg Lawless is back in town. But he finds himself in more trouble than ever, thanks to his delinquent teenage son — and this time, fists and bullets may not be enough to solve his problems. A perfect introduction to CRIMINAL and its dark, exciting world, this series will also include back page art and articles to bring readers more fully into the noir experience.”
An ill-advised theft by his son and a trip to the funeral of an old acquaintance, (more accomplice than friend and maybe not such a good one at that) has Teeg Lawless begin this reboot of the dark and violent Criminal series.
To say that Ed Brubaker is at home with the trappings of noir fiction is damning with faint praise. Criminal is dark and violent and thrilling as any of the best of the genre, but there is an ease in the story telling that comes off as totally authentic. This book isn’t a throwaway exercise in emulating an old style, but rather an expertly crafted work that breathes new life into a classic form. Brubaker’s characters are more than just players in a story, they feel truly lived in and authentic, even the minor ones.
Punch for punch, Sean Phillips seals the deal for the gritty and sleazy atmosphere that this story inhabits. There is no doubt about the kind of world that we see, and a pretty clear picture where the story is going.
The Bottom Line:
We’re not looking for heroes here, only survivors, and the return to Criminal presents an intriguing caper and mysterious backstory that promises not to hold back.