Criminal returns for the first time in three and a half years! But has the wait been worth it? And will it appeal to both new and established fans? Read on to find out. The official description from Image:
CRIMINAL COMES TO IMAGE! To celebrate the return of CRIMINAL to print, BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS return to their awardwinning title for the first time in years for a 48-page special sure to thrill their readers, old and new alike! It’s 1976, and Teeg Lawless is doing 30 days in county jail with a price on his head, his only safe company from the savagery a beat-up old comic magazine his dead cellmate left behind. It’s CRIMINAL like you’ve never seen it before, with a comic within the comic and all those slick ’70s thrills!
Ever since Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips moved to a five year exclusive contract with Image, which started last January, a lot of fans have been wondering what would happen to their ever popular Criminal series, which previously was being published at Marvel imprint, Icon Comics. Would we need to wait five years? Or would Brubaker be allowed to take it with him. The latter proved the case, and to celebrate the re-release of the series at Image, we get this brand new one-shot story.
Giving us the same level of grit and intrigue that we’ve grown accustomed to from Criminal (and his crime series in general), Brubaker has created a fun new entry into this marvellous world. Delivering a story starring Criminal favourite, Teeg Lawless, he goes on to create something truly amazing, with the unique twist and interlocking link to a self created pulp tale, Savage, allowing for a gripping read. The action between both the main story and Savage also proves thoroughly exciting, with the issue as a whole making me long for more Criminal.
The way that artists Sean Phillips manages to give a distinguishing difference between the main story, and the Savage sub-plot is truly fascinating, as though it is clear that this is the same artist, the end result is couldn’t be further apart. The colours of Elizabeth Breitweiser also helps deliver this distinctive look, with the tonal palette in the main story, and sepia texture in Savage allowing for a complimenting tone. Phillips also generates great excitement and tension throughout the main tale, with the bounty of Teeg’s head allowing this sensational artist a lot to play with.
Criminal: Special Edition is the kind of one-shot that fans of the series deserve, as though it also is the perfect opportunity for new fans to jump in, it allows existing fans a wider look at this world. The unique sub-plot also makes for an interesting addition, and along with the gritty overtone within script and art, it makes this fanboy hopeful for a possible future to Criminal.