Wednesday, 26 June 2013

So I Read Criminal: The Sinners

A 250 word (or less) review of Criminal: The Sinners
By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, Icon Comics

There is something endlessly, luridly fascinating about crime comics. It’s something I have difficulty explaining: I like to think of myself as a moral person and I’m certainly law abiding to the point of being boring… but give me an empathetic protagonist and drag me into the fucked up, lawless world at the margins and I’m hooked. Criminal: The Sinners is a perfect embodiment of the kind of crime comic that I love. In it, Tracy Lawless (returning from Criminal:Lawless) is reluctantly working as an enforcer for local crime boss Mr. Hyde to pay off his dead brother’s debts. Unfortunately Tracy is a loose canon with a conscience, which makes him a liability to his employer. So Hyde gives him one final job: to investigate and eliminate whoever has been murdering high-level criminal figures around town. Tracy must find away to catch this killer as he negotiates his employer’s temper, avoids capture from the law, and hides his own dirty secret. Criminal: The Sinners is exquisitely balanced: an immersive Noir world of crime brilliantly written and sumptuously drawn.  It’s a comic that weaves together its various story elements with an effortless ease that would probably be delightful if The Sinners wasn’t so starkly brutal and tense. Criminal: The Sinners is exactly the kind of well-crafted crime comic that takes me to the margins and hooks me, morals be damned. Give it a try and you might be leaving your morals behind too.

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