Criminal #1 (2019) Review
The Criminal series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is back! Unlike the CRIMINAL trades of the past, the newest Criminal #1 (2019) is coming to you in a monthly series. A monthly book is nothing really new to Brubaker and Phillips, however it is something new to the Criminal universe. A crime universe loosely connected together over the years throughout numerous trades since 2007.
A constant over these years has been Teeg Lawless and his family. In the newest Criminal #1 (2019) we find him entangled in a web that even involves his hooligan teenage son. There’s always a constant with Teeg. He’s always into some shit, and he always needs money to dig himself out of it. Issue one is a testament of this consistent lifestyle.
The crime genre is intriguing. You don’t find many crime books these days, it’s even harder to find one that’s not a 1950’s snorefest. Brubaker and Phillips are like the Godfathers of the genre. They’ve managed to create the crime universe of Criminal and keep it consistently fresh over numerous books and are continuing to do so with Criminal #1 (2019).
I first started reading Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips work with FATALE, a book I tout to this day as one of the greatest series in comics. Fatale opened up the world, how be it a different supernatural one but, the noir crime genre had been introduced to me. I was hooked on Brubaker and Phillips work thereafter. I followed up Fatale with their previous Criminal trades, all of them. Diving even deeper with INCOGNITO, and then their short THE FADE OUT series. While I stepped away from their work for a while because of KILL OR BE KILLED, I recently ventured just outside the Criminal universe with MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES.
The Criminal Conundrum
So here’s the conundrum. I’m intimately knowledgeable about the Criminal universe, it’s very easy for me to hop right in. But what about the newcomers to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips? Or their Criminal universe? Can you jump right into the fray with Criminal #1 (2019). Yes you can. The books are connected by the characters living inside of them. They aren’t however, dependent upon it.
Criminal #1 (2019) is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Brubaker and Phillips. If you are deciding to start here, I would highly suggest you check out the previous Criminal trades. Don’t worry, nothing will be spoiled for you. I don’t think me suggesting reading them is a cautionary tale though. Once you read Criminal #1 (2019), you’ll want to read the previous works anyway.
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