Due to the New Years Holiday new comic book day, which is usually on Wednesday, was pushed back to Friday. Plus my local comic shop is having an end of the year 50% off trades and hardcovers sale so I got extra stuff. I got one new comic and two hard cover collections:

  • Buffy Season Eight – 9
  • Weird Science Volume 1 (HC)
  • Weird Science Volume 2 (HC)
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read this week.

  • Criminal Vol 2 “Lawless” TPB by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
  • This is the second “Criminal” trade paperback collection released by the Marvel Comics creator owned imprint “Icon”. It also stands on it’s own as a complete story that is unrelated to the first volume. If there is any connection between this volume and the first I don’t remember it. New criminals and new crimes.

    I reviewed the first volume and I don’t remember the specifics but I remember being a bit ambivalent about it. I do know that I like this volume better. The story is about a man who comes from a criminal family getting out of the army, where he was in the brig for the past eighteen months, only to find out that his younger brother (also a criminal) was murdered months ago. He heads back to the Coast to try and find out what happened to his brother.

    Once again Brubaker and Phillips give us a story with no heroes. Not really even an anti-hero. Everybody is a criminal and a bit messed up. As with the first volume there is almost no one for me to relate to. But, oh well, the story is still well told. It’s dark tale about life’s criminal misfits.

    When our main character, Sam West, goes to try and find out what happened to his brother he doesn’t have an exact plan. He’s no detective and he’s winging it. But the rest of the criminals are too. I don’t want to give anything away because this is a book that is mainly about the plot and the mood. There is a voyeuristic quality to it as we get a glimpse of small time criminals and their lives.

    One nice thing about the writing is that Sam West actually takes pains to not leave behind a trail of bodies. Sure there’s a body count but he’s actually aware that he should do his best not to have them lead the cops back to him. Recently I’ve seen too many comics and movies where some criminal leaves a trail of dead bodies behind him with no concern for being caught. It’s like they live in a world with no police. That’s usually because the writer can’t be bothered with writing about the police tracking the criminal down. Just a pet peeve of mine.

    The cops in this story are nameless and faceless things that are to be avoided. We don’t get to know any of them but they are there in a criminal’s life as a force that you don’t want to deal with but always have to think about.

    So if you want some criminal action; if you want a dark book with no heroes; if you want to check out the dark side of our society give “Lawless” a read. It’s well done.