- Series: Criminal Tp (Image) (Book 1)
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (February 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1632151707
- ISBN-13: 978-1632151704
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Criminal Volume 1: Coward (Criminal Tp (Image)) Paperback – February 10, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
I also have to commend Val Staples for the gifted work in coloring these crime classics. A highly recommended graphic novel and series.
Leo Patterson is a fascinating criminal - brilliant at planning heists but with a cowardly reputation for running when things go wrong. Descended from a long line of thieves, he abhors unnecessary violence yet finds himself caught up in the maelstrom.
After his father died in prison Leo formulated his own rules to keep him out of there, including no junkies, no crooked cops, and no guns. Of course, all three rules end up broken when Leo finds himself forced into a heist of an armoured police evidence van carrying stolen blood diamonds. Double-crosses abound as Leo hits the highway and tries to survive on the run as some very nasty people, on both sides of the law, hunt for him and the stolen evidence.
I'm not a connoisseur of graphic novels, but I was very impressed by this tale from Brubaker, who has also written for iconic series as Batman, Captain America, and X-Men. It is a page-turning crime tale told by a great blend of pithy narrative and dialogue and stark imagery. The illustrations pop off the page.
Brubaker's words and Phillips's images create a seamy, abrasive atmosphere. We're plunked right in the middle of all the dirty chaos of Leo's life, and have to hold on for dear life as we witness his story unfolding. There are all the noir tropes - anti-heroes, mean streets, femme fatales, secrets and conspiracies, larger-than-life villains who operate in the shadows. But CRIMINAL is in no way cliched.
Instead, Brubaker stands on the shoulders of what has gone before in the noir genre, and brings it vividly to life in a fresh tale shared through the graphic novel form. Suspenseful and exciting, with plenty of plot twists to keep readers engaged and entertained, and a central 'hero' who makes us care, CRIMINAL is just a very good tale, very well told.
Originally published in 2007, CRIMINAL ushered in a new era of gritty crime-based comic books, which had been absent from the genre for a long while. It's great to see it republished in this way now, hopefully reaching a new and even wider audience. Terrific storytelling.
This review was written for Crime Watch: http://kiwicrime.blogspot.com