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Criminal #11 review

A positive example of our expectations being subverted.

For a while we’ve been waiting to see what new job Teeg Lawless would take next. After all, he’s got runaway Jane to support. Well, finally we see what devil’s handiwork Teeg is up to—a heist at a boxing game.

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Because we’ve been kept in the dark about the robbery’s specifics, they have to be revealed all at once. And while that choice could be confusing in some creative hands, Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips guide us with ease (while also heaping on tension).

Unfortunately, I can’t say much, because some major things happen in the back-half of this issue. But I can say #11 slips us into Teeg’s head, so his paranoia is ours, and then punishes us for it…only to validate our fears later. Talk about subverting expectations.

Image Comics

We’re immediately drawn into the proceedings with the Philips’ art. There are times when Sean’s figures come across as stiff, but he’s in fine form drawing the brutal showmanship of pro-wrestling in beefy panels. Jacob saturates the pages with a swelling orange and purple palette.

Cinematography is key in thrillers in conveying a breakneck pace and psychological unrest. Sean Philips’s panels would make Soderbergh jealous in how cinematic and effective they are. Note the repeated use of worm’s eye view when Teeg is under pressure (obviously making his figure look more imposing).

As an almost stand-alone issue, this is an excellently executed piece. But on whole, it’s a tad hard to judge, since #11 ends on a cliffhanger that we expected but dreaded. One thing’s for sure—I have to read #12.  

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Criminal #11 review
Is it good?
As an almost stand-alone issue, this is an excellently executed piece. But on whole, it’s a tad hard to judge, since #11 ends on a cliffhanger that we expected but dreaded. One thing’s for sure—I have to read #12.
Versatile, vivid art.
Sucks us into Teeg's paranoid POV.
What a twist! Well, it was built-up to--but yikes!
As far as heists go, this one isn't exactly unique or brilliant.
8
Good
Comments

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