Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Criminal: The Sinners #2
Icon (Marvel Comics)
Brubaker & Phillips
As the second issue of Criminal: The Sinners unfolds we, the reader, begin to understand that Tracy’s investigation isn’t as straight forward as connecting a couple of deaths together. We, as the reader, are also lucky because we get a glimpse into the who the killer may be which allows us to understand just how close or far Tracy is from cracking the case. The comic has a terrific narrative as Tracy runs all the possibilities through his head. While, in the shadows of the scenes Tracy leaves behind we, the audience, are allowed to see what Tracy just barely missed by walking away. It’s a great story and manages to draw the reader in and see things as Tracy sees them and then as a fly on the wall sees them. This is an outstanding issue.
The comic contains some parallel threads in it that get some level of attention in this issue. However, they aren’t just random pieces of a story, but instead a flow that weaves into the main story rather compactly. For example, Tracy is being hunted by a Special Agent Yocum. Yocum, seeks the help of the police department. The police dispatch internal affairs to check in on the murder scene of the cop that was killed that Tracy also happens to be looking into. One of the internal affairs officers has ties to Tracy’s father and knows him. All of these small parts to the story unfold rather quickly and allow a story to be crafted that gives the appearance that the walls are closing in on Tracy, without him realizing it. Also, this all is told in about eight pages of the comic making this aspect of the story extremely concise.
While Tracy is trying to figure out how the murders are all related to each other and how the person committing them stands to make a gain from Tracy’s boss, Mr. Hyde, there are other characters that begin to float in with what seems like smaller roles. It’s at this point that the story leaves Tracy and begins to be told from the standpoint of a fly on the wall as we pick up one of the new character’s trail and figure out just what he’s been up to.
This comic is still very much a Tracy Lawless story, but in this issue it begins to take on more characters and their motives. It no longer just has the moments where Tracy interacts with a character as we are allowed to understand why the characters that Tracy interacts with have their own dilemmas that affect the overall plot. It’s really shaping up to be a brilliant story, perhaps the best of the Criminal series yet.
The comic also contains two backup essays. One by Brubaker himself about Peter Yates films which really shows where Brubaker’s storytelling roots reach out to the world of cinema. The other essay is about Australian Noir films by Ryan Lindsay and it is terrific stuff. Lindsay’s piece references some of the history of the country as it pertains to the crime films in the present day. It’s not only educational, but it is fascinating to place the movies in the context of their historical significance. These backup pieces really round out the comic and help to make the purchase contain more for your money.
The artwork takes a new role as this story has Tracy kind of lost in his thoughts. Sure, he gets a little violent but the story is mostly a lot of quiet moments were Tracy is trying to sort things out in his head. The artwork deals with this subject very well as it captures his frustration and his annoyance at the way the mystery is heading. The art stays in the darker tones as you would expect which only enhances the proper storytelling mood.
Criminal is still on the climb upwards in the current story, but this is a great comic. You really can’t spend your money on anything better than this issue if you like crime dramas that make you think as you’re reading. This is definitely one I recommend highly.
5 out of 5 geek goggles