I remember thinking about early seventies Springsteen the first time I read Criminal and I did again this time. Brubaker’s opening narration makes some pretty clear references to Springsteen and then it disappears. I don’t think it ever comes back, but it’s right there on the second page. I always get hung up on whether it’s intentional or not.
The first issue sets up the heist. While Criminal is supposed to be about the unglamorous side of crime, it’s not like Brubaker’s protagonist is some guy ripping off Social Security checks from old ladies. It’s a very “honor among thieves” world, at least in the protagonist’s eyes.
So it’s going to be a complicated, cinematic heist story, the most overused genre in crime fiction.
While I’m unenthusiastic (I remember how the arc ends), it’s a well-written comic. Brubaker’s talking heads scenes are great.
Phillips to make it all look amazing.
Coward, Part One; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.