Criminal: The Dead and The Dying – Ed Brubaker

This contains three short stories that are really the same story told from three different points of view. A lesser writer would have put them into one big story. But then we wouldn’t have the satisfaction of putting all the pieces together ourselves. Brubaker sticks to his rule of only having one lead at a time and letting them tell us their own story in their own words.

These aren’t strangers to us. Technically they are minor characters mentioned in earlier books but we have quickly learnt there is no such thing. We are convinced everyone in Brubaker’s world has a history and a destiny mapped from cradle to grave. That mute shoeshine boy you dismiss today will turn out to be the lynchpin of tomorrow. This is what makes Brubaker’s ship in a bottle so magnificent, it feels so real and authentic and we have no idea how he does it.

The art is excellent and the dark skin tones of the numerous black cast are handled expertly in the noir setting. The first page is a full page panel that really slaps you in the face and makes for a hell of a beginning.

This series is consistently of the highest quality and I am sure the next volume, like this one, will be a definite Thumbs Up!

86/279.

Tomorrow: Criminal: Bad Night – Ed Brubaker

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