Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Criminal: The Sinners #3
Icon (Marvel Comics)
Brubaker & Phillips
Criminal: The Sinners delivers another amazing issue this month. Not only does the plot become very, very complicated, but also more and more players are getting dragged into this story making things a bit of a mess for Tracy Lawless. At this point I would think those that like this series and this type of storytelling are going to love this comic book. For all of the rest you….well…this is my chance to change your mind.
Lawless continues to investigate the murders of some of the high profile criminals that have been killed for his ring-leader boss who doesn’t like people killing off his allies or enemies without him knowing about it. Lawless heads back to the church, site of the first murder, to ask around about the dead priest’s dealings. Little does Lawless know that the priest that remains alive and well is behind the murders as some sort of an act of cleansing the scum in the neighborhood. Tracy gets no information from the priest and heads over to Triad in Chinatown.
Tracy raises the alarms in Chinatown and then stirs stuff up with his boss. His boss is under the impression that he’s sleeping with his daughter. While he isn’t doing that, he is going behind his boss’ back in a much more personal way revealed in this issue.
The walls close in on Tracy in the end as the priest’s acolytes follow Tracy and Tracy is confronted with his past as Special Agent Yocum catches up with him.
The comic book doesn’t just supply a complicated murder plot with layers that extend up and outward, but the comic also excels with its cast of characters and their general unsavory nature.
The characters are all villains to some extent. Priests are committing murder, Army Special Agents are threatening to rough up civilians, mobsters turning on each other and on and on. At this point in the story the solving of the murders case is completely irrelevant. The characters are all on a collision course and the plot really has very little to do with any of their fates. To tell a story of this caliber with this level of complexity is a gift that not everyone has to be sure. When you add in this number of characters that have a stake in this you have something that is the crime and scum equivalent of the movie called “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World”.
The comic also contains an essay by Tom Piccirilli about Korean Noir films that is so well written it will have you diving to the Internet trying to find out more about some of these movies he mentions. This is the cherry on top of the comic.
The artwork is hitting on all cylinders in this issue. Emotions and tensions are running high and this comic captures it all very well. Sure there is some violence and a couple of bloody murders, but for the most part the comic stays character expression centric and it works out perfectly.
Criminal is the kind of story that you keep up with or get left behind. That isn’t to stay its fast moving or some convoluted that it’s boring. No, its got more than just a plot and some ancillary characters. It’s a story that shows the underworld to be a place where no one is worthy rooting for. It’s a comic that takes you to the dark places of these character’s minds in subtle ways. It’s a terrific read in an art form that is under utilized today in movies, TV and comic books.
4.5 out of 5 geek goggles