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Coward (Criminal, Vol. 1) Paperback – May 9, 2007


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Coward (Criminal, Vol. 1) + Criminal Vol. 2: Lawless + Criminal Vol. 5: The Sinners
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (May 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078512439X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785124399
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

You feel like you know these people by the end of the story.
GBarth
This book exceeded my high expectations and is very strongly recommended for both regular fans of comics/graphic novels as well as a much wider audience.
K. W. Schreiter
Also, Sean Philips pencils and Val Staples colors perfectly set the mood and enhance the story.
E. Ossi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jamie S. Rich on August 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ed Brubaker's writing has always had a kind of laconic grit to it. His best work, be it his autobio stuff or the more fantastical run he had on CATWOMAN, has always been down to earth and set in a modern, semi-urban environment. CRIMINAL is his return back to the crime genre, this time on the harder side of it, dealing with bad guys and bad consequences. Sean Phillips is an able collaborator, meeting Ed's no-nonsense script with a similarly straight-up artistic approach. Both men deal in only the most essential details, and that keeps this first volume in the series gripping from start to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Penrose on September 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge Brubaker fan and I was really interested in reading this volume of Criminal. I don't know what I was expecting but I think I was expecting more. This seemed like I was watching a movie panel by panel. That's not a bad thing but usually not my cup of tea. Phillips art works really well for this story style I just wished the storytelling wasn't as predictable. Just an okay read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Coward", a crime-oriented graphic novel, reunites writer Ed Brubaker and illustrator Sean Phillips, creators of the stunning superpowered spy saga, "Sleeper." I gotta say, I really like this creative team - Phillips really captures some intangible element of Brubaker's writing, and the results are quite delicious. The forlorn, downbeat (or beat-down) sensibilities of Brubaker's savvy antiheroes comes through in every panel, and the mood they set oozes out of the pages. I was thoroughly engrossed by this story, sorry to see it end so soon (and also sorry about the finality of this particular plotline...) Looking forward to "Criminal", v.2, though! (ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
When you think of comics, I bet you think of superheroes in spandex. Nothing wrong with that. But there used to be a whole other realm when someone mentioned comics--horror, mystery, crime, and terror--in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Then, with the Comics Code Authority, much of what was in comics evaporated and the superheroes were neutered. Crime-focused comics fell under that knife and stayed dormant for decades. By the 1970s, when I began collecting comics, I don't even remember any crime comics out there. And I'm not including Detective Comics that long ago became just another vehicle for Batman. No, crime comics died and only rarely rose up to see what was going on. The only crime comic title I can think of before the 1990s was Max Allan Collins's "Ms. Tree."

The late 1980s saw the introduction of a newfound realism in comics. The emergence of the graphic novel as a medium proved that comic books were not just kids' stuff. DC Comics launched the Vertigo line of comics intended for mature readers and focused on subjects more intense than Superman trying to get the alien imp Mr. Mxyzptlk to say his own name backward (thus banishing him back to the Fifth Dimension). With this new attention being paid to comics as a storytelling medium, it was inevitable that crime comics would be re-born.

While the re-birth cannot be attributed to one person, there is one man who can take a large amount of credit for the revitalization of crime in comics. Ed Brubaker bounced around the comics' world, writing his own material that was usually crime-related and putting his own unique stamp on standard heroes like Batman, Catwoman, and the X-Men. In 2007, he and artist Sean Phillips launched a new title, "Criminal" that featured multi-issue story arcs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pseudobyte on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
First of all, let me just say that if you want to experience Criminal to the fullest, you really have to buy the single/monthly issues. I know, it's tough. Suck it up. The monthly issues include the wonderful essays and reviews of noir films and books from industry giants and friends alike including Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction, Charles Ardai (Hard Case Crime) and of course, Patton Oswalt (who's taste in noir I like better than his comedy routine). There's more I'm forgetting too. There, I've stated the case for the monthly issues... I mean, aside from noting that monthly sales keep the book on the shelves at all!
If you're already a fan of Brubaker (or the Brubaker/Phillips creative team) then this book is a no-brainer and you should already own it and be buying copies for your friends! For someone who is new to the writing style of Ed Brubaker I will go into some detail, followed by some comments on Sean Phillips' art. This collection is begging to be read by fans of crime/noir fiction. If you like reading Richard Stark or James Ellroy or even Elmore Leonard, then this is right up your alley. Don't expect the humor you'd find in an Leonard novel though. This is a story peopled by flawed characters with the main focus centering on Leo "the coward". Leo is built up as a thief-planner with a knack for never getting caught. He gets tapped to help run an armored car job by a corrupt cop on a gangster's payroll.

Brubaker's captions and dialogue read like street vernacular that suggests he's actually walked these streets and ducked down these alleyways and spent some time in The Undertow Bar. There aren't any wasted words, it's very straightfoward and no-nonsense.
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