Friday, September 16, 2011

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #4

Written by Ed Brubacker
Art by Sean Phillips

I don't know why, but I thought that this was a five-issue arc of Criminal (maybe because they all have been up to this point), so as I got closer and closer to the end of the book, I kept expecting something totally unexpected to happen.  I kept thinking that everything was wrapping up too soon, and so I'm sure this skewed my perception of the comic somehow.

But then, it really did wrap up nicely.  Riley feels like he's in the clear when the issue opens, and he receives his inheritance and gets back together with his previous high school girlfriend.  Shortly though, he learns that a few people are on to him, some of whom are completely unexpected.  At that point, our understanding of just how ruthless Riley really is gets tested.

This has been a very cool arc on the best Brubaker/Phillips series.  The Archie-comics style flashbacks perhaps give the story a more gentle appearance, but in a lot of ways, this is one of the more cold-hearted Criminal stories yet.

I've read before that Brubaker doesn't plan out his conclusions completely when he starts a new arc, and that makes final issues more interesting to read.  That this one ended so neatly is a testament to his skill.

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