Review: Criminal #2

Archie Lewis was the artist’s artist in his heyday, although that’s not what he’s famous for. He’s famous for being a nightmare to work with-and dangerous. So when an old assistant is forced to chaperone his one-time mentor to receive his lifetime achievement award, well… let’s just say things don’t go well.

Criminal is one of the best comics on the market and that makes each issue having to meet a high bar. Criminal #2 meets that high bar with a meta-story focused on a washed up comic creator and an out of control comic convention weekend.

Ed Brubaker delivers another amazing issue that name drops real creators and intermixes real settings that will get die hard comic fans to smile. But, what Brubaker really gets you to do is ponder who he’s writing about? Real names. Real settings. It’s hard to not think about this faux reality he’s created and it’s delivered in such a way that you almost expect this issue is just one of those comic history rumors brought to life.

The story itself is interesting and each page you wonder where it’s all going and where it’ll lead to. By the time it all wraps up, it makes sense and you can only get more excited as this second issue, you know will weave into something special coming down the road.

Sean Phillips art with color by Jacob Phillips is the usual amazing with a style and look that screams “pulp,” “crime,” and “noir.” It’s an art style that’s unique with a level of expression and detail that has you linger on the page and makes the emotion and action explode at times.

The issue is pure brilliance with a level of meta that you’re not sure what is what isn’t true. For comic historians and fans, there’s so much to enjoy about the issue and for those you have gone to a certain convention, the locations shown are recognizable. This is a comic that can be enjoyed for it’s noir and crime focus and loved that it’s so much more.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Jacob Phillips
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review