I have important breaking news* for the new year!!!
Ed Brubaker can sure write some crime fiction!
*I am pretty sure I am the last person for whom this was breaking news.
Coward (Criminal #1 tpb) - Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
This is just a terrific story. If you like crime fiction, or well written stories with great art, you'll love this. Truth is, you probably already love it. I am a bit late to the party on everything, but being first has never interested me. The goal is to read and enjoy good comics, not to break any records for reading them before everyone else.
I am a big fan of comics that read like really good movies. I know that not everyone is, but I don't really understand that prejudice. This reads like a good movie that I would like A LOT. I am really into the sort of movies where the main character is holding back and then despite trying to stay above such things, is eventually unleashed. (A History of Violence, The Unforgiven, etc.) This has a bit of that, combined with another thing I love, and that is the character type of the mastermind. The character that has everything planned out. They think of angles that you can't believe even existed before that person thought of them.
In Coward those things are presented in the form of Leo, a pickpocket and heist planner with a knack for making it out alive by following some solid rules, and a reputation for being a coward. The story is about a job gone bad, and throughout the course of the story we see a lot of compelling and well written characters, and really get into the mind of Leo and learn what he is really all about.
There is a lot of humanity in this book. There is a certain sympathetic view of a certain class of criminal that really rubs off on you when you read it. I highly recommend this, and have already picked up Volume 2: Lawless.