Review: Criminal #4

Criminal #4

A breathtaking single-issue story finds Ricky Lawless caught in the grip of violence and double cross after a robbery.

Even the worst issue of Criminal is so far ahead and above so much of what’s out there in comics today. Criminal #4 is the weakest of the issues for this new series released so far but it’s still so beyond entertaining and well written. A standalone issue, it follows Ricky Lawless tweaking from drugs and falling further into a mess he’s created.

Writer Ed Brubaker, artist Sean Phillips, and colorist Jacob Phillips craft an issue that anyone can pick up and enjoy but at the same time ties into the greater tapestry that is, and has, been woven. We see a criminal, a drug user, out of control, and it’s not until much later in the comic that everything truly impacts and comes together.

Instead, the trio of creators focus on the spiraling insanity that comes with a bender including paranoia and more. It’s a story of tragedy on multiple levels and also of someone trying to do good but resulting in nothing but bad.

Like so much they’ve done with other characters, Ricky isn’t completely bad. We’re presented with a somewhat sympathetic character who goes from a junkie to someone trying to do some good. But, that good is actual shit sucking in all who get in to his orbit. Every small detail has another side to it creating a world of gray.

As always, the single issue contains back page art and articles you won’t find in the trades delivering an extra that’s not needed when a story is this quality.

Criminal #4 is a depressing comic in so many ways but it also is gripping an done of the best comics of the week.

Story: Ed Brubaker Art: Sean Phillips Color: Jacob Phillips
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review