Criminal, Vol. 1: Coward (Criminal, #1) by Ed Brubaker Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Criminal, Vol. 1: Coward (Criminal, #1)

From Harvey Award-Winning Best Writer Ed Brubaker, and Scream Award-Winning Best Artist Sean Phillips comes the first collection of Criminal, one of the best reviewed comics of 2006. Coward is the story of Leo, a professional pickpocket who is also a legendary heist-planner and thief. But there’s a catch with Leo, he won’t work any job that he doesn’t call all the shots on

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    Stephen

    Mar 05, 2012

    rated it
    really liked it

    Four things to know going into Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips:
     
    1. It’s a comic book
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    …there are pictures and panels and dialogue bubbles;
     
    2. Within these pages you will NOT encounter any bulging, brawny costumed superheroes or mutant-powered, tight-wearing freaks;
     
    3. This is 100% crime noir, meaning you WILL encounter violence, blood, sex, potty mouth talk and some powerful images that may haunt you;
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    and most importantly…
     
    4. Criminal…is…dripping with gold. A well-written, skillfull

    and most importantly…
     
    4. Criminal…is…dripping with gold. A well-written, skillfully crafted story with a rich, twisty and layered plot plus subtly drawn, memorable characters that come alive for the reader.
     
    In other words…if you’re a fan of crime fiction, especially noiry nastiness, this is the goods. The quality is in the upper echelon of the all the offerings you are likely to find strolling down the print isle of your local bookstore. So don’t pass this up simply because of some irrational prejudice against kick ass artwork complimenting an already terrific story.
     
    PLOT SUMMARY:
     
    Leo Patterson is not your usual criminal. He’s complicated. Leo is brilliant at planning scores, but also has a reputaton as a coward for being who will cut and run if things go bad and has a knack for extricating himself from bad situations. 
     
    Ever since Leo’s father died in prison, he’s strictly followed a set of rules designed to keep him alive and out of the pokey. These rules include such commandments as never work with junkies and never partner with crooked cops. Item #1 in Leo’s rule book is absolutely no guns.

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    Leo has been scraping a living as a pick pocket trying to support his surrogate father, Ivan, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. When approached by a former colleague to knock over a police evidence transport carrying millions in blood diamonds, Leo initially refuses due to the involvement of a crooked cop.

    Rules are rules.
     
    However, after a series of events, Leo eventually comes on board to plan the heist. As you can probably guess, things go seriously FUBAR, in part because not everyone follows Leo’s rules. 
     

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    Turns out that nothing is what it seems, double crosses occur in droves and Leo finds himself on the run from some very nasty, pissed off people. 
     
    MY THOUGHTS:

    Putting aside classics like Hammett and Chandler, this ranks highly among noir crime stories that I’ve read. It’s just really, really good. The plot is well laid out and the cast of characters is terrific. One thing I love to find in a good crime caper is a seriously deranged bad guy. An enforcer or lieutenant for the big boss who likes to hurt people and becomes a focal point for the reader’s hate and disgust.

    Coward has one and his name is Delron:

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    Delron reminds me of a caricature of a sweaty, overweight sheriff from the deep, deep south who turns out to be a wife-beating pedophile selling oxycontin to school kids. He’s the quintessence of creepy and Sean Philips’s artistic portrayal of him is just perfect. His inclusion in the story adds the right amount of tension and drama to the unfolding events. 

    In addition, the pacing is crisp and the plot has a geniune sense of authenticity about it. The  realism of the characters gives the story a greater degree of emotional impact as there are no annoying distractions infringing on the reader’s suspension of disbelief. 

    Finally, the ending. It’s wonderful. The right tone for the story and the perfect wrap up for all that has come before. 

    4.0 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. 
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    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Leo grew up being a pickpocket. His old man and “uncle” Ivan taught him well. Now he is a heist planner with rules that he lives by. No guns-No cops- He calls all the shots.

    A recipe for disaster when he agrees to pull a big job. Things go south in a hurry.

    He ends up on the run with an elderly Ivan. (who has a bad drug habit, Alzheimer’s and is pretty much a pervert- My favorite graphic novel character yet) and a woman friend that helped with the heist.

    He has the cops and the bad guys chasing hi

    A recipe for disaster when he agrees to pull a big job. Things go south in a hurry.

    He ends up on the run with an elderly Ivan. (who has a bad drug habit, Alzheimer’s and is pretty much a pervert- My favorite graphic novel character yet) and a woman friend that helped with the heist.

    He has the cops and the bad guys chasing him and it’s just a matter of time before it all catches up.

    Fricking awesome. Why didn’t they write comics like this when I was a kid? Oh right, my mom would have burned them. I can eat them up now though. Old age rocks!


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    Anne

    Feb 03, 2015

    rated it
    really liked it

    Shelves:
    crime

    Well, damn. That was depressing.
    I thought this was going to be heist-y & fun, or something! But this? This was a cautionary tale. Like, they should hand copies of this out in high school, the same way they do condoms.
    Don’t do anything illegal, kids. It will end badly! And here’s the proof…

    description

    That’s not to say it wasn’t good. It was! Nobody does crime/noir the way Brubaker does, and this was no exception. But make no mistake, it’s dark.
    description
    The main character is a coward, in the sense that he alw

    description

    That’s not to say it wasn’t good. It was! Nobody does crime/noir the way Brubaker does, and this was no exception. But make no mistake, it’s dark.
    description
    The main character is a coward, in the sense that he always runs away before the shit hits the fan. He’s a good thief, and good at planning for jobs, so it’s no surprise that an old partner & a crooked cop want his help on a job.
    Is it?

    description

    I’m gonna stop there, because I think the less you know about the actual story, the better. If this sounds like your type of comic, or you’re a fan of Brubaker, go ahead and jump on in. I mean, even though this isn’t normally the kind of thing I go for, I was really impressed with it.
    Sure, I wanted to slit my throat by the time it was over, but…

    description

    The art? Ehhhhhh?
    It’s kind of what I think of as indie art. I don’t actually like it, but whatcha gonna do?
    shrugs

    Recommended for fan of Brubaker & crime stories.

    PS – This is the worst cover in the history of graphic novel covers. Just…ewwww. Looks like an aging porn star eyeballing his next cheeseburger.

    description
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