Updated: Jan 25, 2020
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Jacob Phillips
Song: "God's Gonna Cut You Down" - Johnny Cash
Every time there's a new issue of CRIMINAL, I know it's a great week in comics. If I read nothing else but this book, I would be completely satisfied. There is no other series that gives as much bang for it's buck as any Brubaker/Phillips book does. Not only are the writing and art superb, but you get all that back matter after the main story. When someone asks me at work- I work at a comic shop btw- I always steer them toward Brubaker/Phillips books.
This arc, "Cruel Summer", has been nothing short of phenomenal. It's no easy feet juggling so many side stories while also weaving them together. Brubaker does it seamlessly and make sit look easy. Remember that private investigator Dan Farraday, well he's back. As we near the conclusion of this storyline all the pieces are coming together. Farraday has been tracking Jane down since she took off with Teeg.
The first half of the story feels like an old detective story. A man down on his luck and running out of options as he tracks down this mysterious woman that has overtaken all commonsense. He runs out of options and wonders if he should even go on but is compelled and obsessed with her that he pushes on, even though it's detrimental to him, as continues to get beat down both physically and mentally.
The second half is where things begin to heat up as all roads become intertwined. Ricky Lawless is about to be sent away when he doesn't fit into Teeg and Jane's "plan". Missing his older brother Tracy, who's off in the army, he heads over to his old house to see if there's a letter from him. It's here that he runs into Farraday. With the hatred Ricky has for his father and the crush he has on Jane, this seems like the perfect opportunity to get back at them.
Will he give up his old man? Will he cover for him? Who knows, but things are coming to an explosive conclusion that only Brubaker and Phillips can deliver.
Brubaker's writing continues to be the most captivating, in my opinion. He never misses a step and his scripts are made even better with the top notch art from Phillips. These two are in their creative prime. If you're not getting this book, you're missing out on one of the best series in comics. If you don't believe me, just take a look at all of those Eisners they've won. Don't wait any longer make sure you check this book out or any of the other books they've done together, you won't regret it.