Review by: Pumatastic

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Avg Rating: 4.6
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Size: pages
Price: 3.50

So I’m a trade waiter. Or at least I used to be.

A month or two ago I fell off the wagon of just buying trades and being a year or so behind all that was going on in comicdom, and went back to my local LCS. One of my trade-waiting casualties was Criminal. I knew at some point they would start collecting the trades into a nice, beautiful hardcover (which I will own), so I decided it was too late to jump on. Always. No matter how much I love the team of Brubaker & Phillips, I figured it would be just as satisfying to wait it out and read the collections.

I was wrong.

Criminal: The Sinners #1 does an excellent job of giving a new reader everything they need to know about the characters without any prior knowledge of back story or use of recap pages and just dives right into Brubaker and Phillips’ seedy world. The economy of dialogue does just enough to cue the reader to the characters’ plans and schemes and reveals who they are without tons of exposition. Sean Phillips’ art is as dark, textured and economic as ever. His work is deceptively simple, but his storytelling is so dead-on you rove through each page wanting to know what happens next. The main character, Tracy Lawless, is apparently a beloved one to the Criminal initiated and I can’t wait to see how he handles what he thinks will be the final solution to his getting out from under the employ of Mr. Hyde, as the final reveal of this issue makes his story even messier and more complicated than he realizes.

One other plus that I’ve always heard about is the back matter than can only be found in the single Criminal issues and those don’t disappoint either. The interviews and essays on crime fiction and noir only further my interest in what will now be a continuing date with the world of Criminal.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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