Welcome to the offical Crime Comics Thread here in GV. This is the place to discuss your love of gritty stories, dirty art, and mean-ass people.
What's a good crime comic, you ask?
Why, probably the best one on the shelves right now is
CRIMINAL is by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
Each story-arc is a self-contained tale of crime, but as you read further, you begin to see the connections and threads running through all the stories, sketching a picture of criminal life in a city across three generations.
The first arc is called COWARD
- It is about a professional thief who always has a way out and the armored car heist he gets dragged into by crooked cops and an untrustworthy old partner.
The second arc is called LAWLESS
- Someone killed Tracy Lawless' brother while Tracy was in prison, and it's time to find out who.
The third arc is called THE DEAD AND THE DYING
- Three stories from the '70s each featuring a different main character which come together to tell the story of a smash-and-grab gone bad and all the people who have to die because of it.
The fourth arc just ended in monthlies and is called BAD NIGHT. It will be collected shortly. It tells the story of Jacob, an ex-counterfeiter with insomnia, a bum set of legs, and a hardon for that dame that can only lead to trouble.
Now, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips seem to have some chops, yes? Well then you'll be pleased to hear about
INCOGNITO, from the men who brought you CRIMINAL.
The story of a supervillain who used to run the fuckin' world, man, do whatever the fuck he wanted whenever the fuck he wanted it. Now, though, he's trapped in a button-down life and a button-down job. That's what Witness Protection gets you. But he's getting mighty fuckin' sick of this shit...
Incognito is not yet out (coming shortly, possibly as soon as Dec. 24th), but you can check out a nice preview here
Well that's all fine and good, I hear you say, but what if I read everything from Mssrs Brubaker and Phillips? What then? Is that all there is? Is that all I get?
No, of course not! If Criminal is (in my opinion) the best crime comic around right now, the second place finisher by a margin so small mathematicians are only just now theorizing its existence is
SCALPED is by the great Jason Aaron.
Dashiell Bad Horse hates the reservation he grew up on. Hates it so bad it makes him wanna puke just to be there. But be there he has to be, because Special Agent Dash Bad Horse has a job to do. One son-of-a-bitch FBI lawman wants another son-of-a-bitch crooked tribal chief's ass, and Dash is the only man for the job. Between seeing his mom again for the first time in years, reigniting an old flame, and, oh yes, being undercover as a crooked cop for Red Crow's (aforementioned crooked tribal chief) private army of Dawg Soldiers, Dash will be lucky
if he just ends up dead
There are currently three trades
, with a fourth coming soon. The series really is one that onlygets better as it goes along. It delves far deeper into the characters than the reader initially expects and its unique setting and feel make it stand head and shoulders above most other comics on the shelves.
What other sweet mysteries wait to be discovered in the world of crime comics?
100 BULLETS is by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
What if a man approached you and pointed out all the things that had gone wrong in your life. You don't know this man. You don't know how he knows you. But what he tells you is that your problems are the fault of someone else. He has incontrovertible proof of this in the briefcase he's carrying. Also in the briefcase is a gun and one hundred bullets. They are completely untracable. The briefcase is for you.
What would you do?
From there, 100 Bullets spins into a massively epic conspiracy tale, with the occasional issue of street-level human misery thrown in for flavor. It's only two months from completion right now, ending at issue number 100 (where else?).
The entire run is collected in 13 or 14 trades
which I do not have the stamina to link to individually. The series is complex and intricate, but also a great deal of fun (if you're the kind of person who finds crime comics and conspiracy stories fun, anyway).
In the vein of comics about bullets
STRAY BULLETS is by David Lapham.
I must confess I have never read Stray Bullets myself, but it comes highly recommended from a friend whose taste I trust absolutely. Perhaps one of our GV friends could say more.
Well, that seems like it would do to get us started, though there are certainly more to discuss (like Torso, Sam & Twitch, the far superior Sam & Max, current Daredevil comics, the Punisher, Sandman Mystery Theater, Sin City, Whiteout, plus all the espionage comics with a strong line of crime flavoring like Sleeper, XIII, Human Target, or Desolation Jones)
My fingers are sick of typing now, so it's time for y'all to take over for a bit.
I haven't read it yet, but Steven Grant's 2 Guns sounds like it fits in here. Even better, Boom Studios is putting out for free on their webcomics site: http://webcomics.boom-studios.net/2008/07/13/2-guns-page-1/
you just made my day. i fucking love the parker novels and i love darwyn cooke even more.
Also, I haven't read Powers, but would it qualify for this thread as well?
My personal favorite out of the 7 collected stories is the final one, Hell and Back.
In it, the protagonist Wallace (Longhair) is a complete and total badass who is trust on a wild and crazy journey as he tries to protect and rescue a woman from an unknown organization.
This is Wallace:
He's an ex-marine who's adept in martial combat as well as with a variety of weapons. In Hell and Back, there is a section of the book in which Wallace is drugged up, and hallucinates some of the craziest stuff. The book is well worth reading just for the hallucination pages alone. Some of Miller's drawing are hilarious. The story of the entire book is good, but I find the hallucination section particularly rewarding. Cupids, Pixies, T-Rexs, giant robots, Captain America, and Wonder Woman's ass are all included in this section of the book, (among other things). Its a fun read.
i think the yellow bastard is my favorite, but the original story is probably still the best one.
he's not a bad guy!
he's got a condition!
I didn't see Wallace as being perfect. As I recall, he had problems with his land-lady and some other personal issues. Life wasn't all peachy for him. But I think the story was such that his own personal flaws weren't essential to tell his story.
On the other hand, a story about Marv is a story about Marv's problems. I think that Miller did a good job of telling a different story for different characters. Of all the major protagonists, we know the least about Wallace. But for his story, that information just wasn't essential. The character we learned about was Ester. (I think that was her name. Its been a while since I've read it.) In Hell and Back, it was her story that mattered, not Wallace.
well, i kind of waffled on whether "detective" type comics belonged in this thread or if there was enough interest in it to have a different "cop comics" thread. we might as well just consolidate them all in here anyway.
honestly i can't think of all that many cop comics anyway (gotham central, kane, powers...uh...)
in other words, it was omitted for the badges not for the capes.
yeah, i get that. all i mean by "perfect" is like...here's the super-cool guy who's a badass and handles pretty much everything. there's nothing wrong with that certainly (<3 batman) but it just felt a little out of place to me in a sin city story is all. i can totally see where you would like it.
honestly dwight becomes almost the same way by the end of his arc in the comics.
edit- uh when i said "i can see where you would like it" i mean like the general "everybody" you, not like..."i can see where you would like it, assbreath"
wanted can stay the fuck out of my thread
Also, X-Factor and the Madrox mini totally belong here.
it just shouldn't be wanted
It really doesn't fit this thread at all though imo. It's super-villains more than crime related really. It's so capey and over the top; doesn't strike me as grim or gritty or noir at all. It's not a crime book really. It's all about super-powered eminem and an evil halle berry being dicks.
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Hell and Back was one of my two least favorite Sin City book, but I really liked the ending.
Also, I just recently purchased the first three Criminal TPBs. Which were totally awesome by the by.
Has Brubaker said whether or not he'll be revisiting the Tracy Lawless character? I really want to see more of that guy.
That Yellow Bastard and the original Sin City (which Wiki calls "The Hard Goodbye", but I'm pretty sure my trade doesn't have that title) are my two favourites as well.
A friend loaned me the first three Scalped trades, and I agree that the series does an outstanding job of delving deeply into the characters. Can't wait for the fourth trade.
SCALPED should come with a "This story will be awesome but will probably depress the fuck out of you" advisory label.
STRAY BULLETS is an amazing series, but unfortunately the creator is currently busy with more mainstream (and rent paying) projects, and the issues come out once a year... if we are lucky. Which is too bad as it is composed on separate, seemingly unconnected stories that very slowly converge as the series progresses.
If you thought reading SCALPED was like being kicked in the gut, then some of the stories in STRAY BULLETS will make you feel like someone just smashed your face with a crowbar and tore your heart out. Human drama at its finest.
Yeah, my shop told me next Wednesday, but we'll see.
i recently reread it and really enjoyed it. i would say it's a little overwritten, and the mystery at its core is perhaps too vague for too long, but overall very enjoyable. pretty bleak, even by gotham city standards.
I was going to come in an post this. If anyoen is interested in Incognito or Criminal, and haven't, they owe themselves to read Sleeper. It was my first introduction to Bru, and it's a great comic.
On the other hand, it is the only comic that's ever made me want to get off my ass and not let the world burn for once.
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