I was sick agin this week so no trip to the comic shop for me. Meanwhile…

And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

”Criminal: Last of the Innocent” by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

I bought this volume of “Criminal” about a year ago and forgot that I hadn’t read it. Weird. I always enjoy Brubaker and Phillips’ work but “Criminal” has been my least favorite series by them. I still like it but sometimes find it a bit tedious to read about criminals who don’t have many redeeming qualities. That being said this was my favorite volume of “Criminal”.

This time we don’t get the story of a professional criminal as in some of the other volumes but the tale of an almost normal everyday guy who decides it’s in his best interest to murder his wife. I say “Almost normal” because the wife is wealthy with a rich father and that’s not so normal.

That’s the simplified version because the comic is also about nostalgia, betrayal, and recapturing the past. It starts with the main character going to his father’s funeral in his home town. His wife and her father are also from that town. The main character is detached and flooded with memories from growing up as he tries to figure things out. Old relationships and love triangles never died after he and his wife moved to the big city.

I always like Phillips’ art and this volume is no exception. He can draw, he can tell a story, and he’s just plain good. He’s one of my favorites. Here he employs an interesting strategy that I don’t think I’ve seen him do before. Normally Phillips’ work can be described as dark and gritty but for some pages, the flashback to their childhood ones, he uses a more Archie Comics’ style. It’s actually kind of Archie by the way of Jaime Hernandez. It works well. It captures the innocence the main character sees in his growing up.

Brubaker and Phillips’ current series from Image Comics “Fatale” is probably my favorite comic of theirs so far (and they have a lot of them) but this one stands out too. Any way you cut it I don’t think you can go wrong with a Brubaker and Phillips comic so check one out.