Saturday, January 31, 2009

Criminal Volume 4 - Bad Night

Criminal Volume 4 - Bad Night - Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips - I like this series so much that picking it up when I see the trade is almost an involuntary muscle reaction for me. This volume focuses on the character Jacob. He is the counterfeiter we saw in Lawless(v2 of the trades), and the cartoonist behind the Frank Kafka comic strip we first see in Coward(v1 of the trades).

Jacob is an insomniac, a former counterfeiter that can't seem to stay all that former, even when he tries, a cartoonist, an easy mark, and a former suspect for murder. Like a good movie, or a really good series of comics that read like movies, we learn a lot about this interesting and flawed character while at the same time being pulled through a constantly moving and evolving story. Brubaker is really good at developing characters and giving insight and back story without it slowing down or taking anything away from the central plot. I think I become a bigger fan of his with each thing I read.

That being said, now that I am 4 trade paperbacks into this series and feel a need to rank them somehow, I am not sure where I put this story in order of favorites. I am almost inclined to say that I like them in exactly the order they appear. Coward is really my favorite, but I think I like the next three almost equally. This one may lose a few points for the sheer fight club-ness of it, but that is not to say that it has anything in common with fight club outside of the insomnia-surprise plot device. That aspect of it is only a piece of the total package, and certainly works.

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