Criminal (2019) #10 Review

by Nathan Koffler on November 27, 2019

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Sean Phillips & Jacob Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics

Criminal continues to be a dramatic and exciting crime story about some of the greatest current comic book characters. The series's tenth issue starts by having us check in on Dan Farraday, which results in some awesome grimey storytelling. As Farraday continues to track Jane and Teeg, he also continues to spiral down a deeper hole of alcoholism and obsession. This scene has everything I want from Criminal: a mentally unstable ex-cop drinking his life away while tracking criminals by seeking information at a strip club, all while beautifully progressing another part of the story.

As I have said many times now, Ed Brubaker is absolutely brilliant at pacing stories so that I’m always engrossed by every single scene and they all have such satisfying pay offs. It’s as if every story told in every issue is wrapped up just enough to blow me away and keep me wanting more. 

That’s what stands out to me in this issue, especially because the first half follows Farraday and the second follows Ricky as he learns of Teeg and Jane’s plans for their upcoming heist. After an excellent first half, the second half is even more dramatic as Ricky doesn’t handle this news well. One of the best things about Ricky is how much readers are able to sympathize with him. We get this deeper view of every character and this allows us to see that all of Ricky’s criminal activity and his attitude are part of a much bigger problem with his family and his upbringing. So after being frustrated with Ricky in the last issue, here I am rooting for him again. Like I said, Brubaker is an excellent writer.

The issue is wonderful on its own, but we are still gifted a quick update on Tracy Lawless, which is also very exciting. I always enjoy little references, updates, and cameos to older Brubaker and Phillips works. 

Speaking of Sean Phillips, the artwork is as amazing in this issue as it always is. I’m very sure that I won’t ever be writing about any complaints regarding Sean Phillips’ illustrations and Jacob Phillips’ coloring. Both are not only absolutely stunning, but are absolutely one of the most important parts of this series. Of course the content of the story is gritty and dark, but we are able to experience the gloomy reality of the story because of how wonderfully the issue is illustrated and colored. The emotions and lack of emotions on faces stands out quite a bit in this issue, especially during the scene Ricky, Teeg, and Jane discuss the heist. 

As expected, Criminal’s tenth issue adds another fantastic chapter to an outstanding story. Everything I want from an issue of Criminal is here and completely delivers with no disappointments. 

Our Score:


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