High Crimes #3

by Forrest.H on May 28, 2015

Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics
Release Date: May 15, 2013

Issue 3 of Sebela and Moustafa’s book takes a different approach than the first two and has some narrative confusion but, on the whole, it’s a worthy and extremely well done entry to this creative and entertaining series.

Zan is on the run, Strange Agents are in pursuit and, there’s still a lot of cut off hands.

Sebela writes a good, frantic issue that really tries to get you into Zan’s mind. For someone whose entire existence seems to be littered with bad decisions, regrets and a constant need to get high, she’s actually quite likeable thanks to Sebela’s honest, focused writing. I also greatly appreciate that no otherworldly, undue focus has been given to the fact that she’s a female character. Her actions, thoughts and relationships are totally defined by her personhood and not her gender, as they should be.

There’s a series of time and place shifts that are hard to keep track of and, I think this issue would’ve benefited from a little bit more structure and breathing room as her narration is a little bit cumbersome.  That being said, it’s still a quick moving issue that despite focusing less on relationship or plot development than the two introductory issues, does a great job of conveying tension, apprehension and a grounded realism in a book that’s ultimately about grave robbers who are for once, not the bad guys.

Moustafa’s work here is the best it’s been. The way he segments and packs each panel full of so much detail and grit is remarkable. Especially so, in that page where Zan is being choked, the attention drawn to a very specific weapon totally in line with the story’s plot but the actions all implied. He shows a clear and effective understanding of both restraint and indulgence that makes the book a fun and sometimes hard to look at, read both in its contemplative moments and its break-neck ones.

Ultimately, this issue struggles a bit more than the first two and could use some breathing room but, it’s still a thrilling installment and I couldn’t be more scared and excited for what happens next. 

Our Score:


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