Criminal #8 follows Teeg Lawless as he meets Jane and falls hopelessly in love. The form of this arc begins to take shape as we see a similar story from last issues from a different perspective with a bit of plot progression at the end and a tease of our already known final outcome; the death of Teeg Lawless.
In a stroke of solid storytelling, Teeg stars in a seemingly unconnected story initially that crosses organically into our last issue then goes a bit further to give us the next bit of story. Brilliant. I love the way it begins as a relatively innocent (for Criminal anyway) infatuation but builds to what we’ve seen previously.
This series is so interesting in the way it appears to meander yet maintains a tight continuity and clearly has a grander design than it lets on. Ed Brubaker is a master of the long game and this series is one of his longest running and best plotted long form stories.
As a more straightforward Criminal romance story I feel this works as well without the overtones, I keep wanting to say these issues stand alone well, but I recently had someone get mad at me for saying that so I’ll just imply it and you guys can make your own calls. I did want to mention if you like the dark romance angle of this check out Violent Love from Image which is similar in that regard.
The art by Sean Phillips and colors by son Jacob Phillips continues to be some of the best in the industry with more expression and nuance present in this issue than most story arcs. The line work contains a grittiness with Teeg that is perfectly juxtaposed against the fragile flower he is spending time with. The colors help to accentuate this with each page being a statement in color, beautiful work all around.
I also wanted to congratulate this creative team for their Eisner win in best OGN for My Heroes have always been Junkies! I can’t think of a more deserving book in the last year. Congrats Ed, Sean and Jacob.
I recently said this is the best ongoing on the stands right now and I will say it again. This is the best ongoing on the stands right now.
Criminal #6: Love and Crime
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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