Okay, I’m entering this arc of Criminal enthusiastic. Brubaker either grew up on a Navy base or an Army base–amazing how little biographical information is available about him, even though I know he’s talked about it in at least two interviews–and this arc’s protagonist is an AWOL soldier out to avenge his brother.
I don’t remember anything bad about this arc (as opposed to the first, where I still remember ranting about the last issue when it came out). But there are some visible, objective differences.
First, Brubaker’s not establishing anything here. He’s not setting up the Criminal series or city. He’s just introducing a new story. Brubaker even manages to get a reasonable three-act dramatic structure to this issue.
Even when Brubaker hides something for later–why’s the protagonist in the brig–it’s fine; the story’s good enough, he doesn’t draw attention to his narrative devices.
Lawless, Part One; writer, Ed Brubaker; artist, Sean Phillips; colorist, Val Staples; publisher, Icon.