The Big Score Gets Rocky In Criminal #11

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The crew puts their big plan into action, attempting to rob the Bay City Arena Wrestle Madness event. Everything should go smoothly: they have a clear plan, a layout of the place, and even a man on the inside. Tommy and Teeg impersonate air conditioning repair men invited in by the assistant manager of the arena (their man on the inside), Jane sets off a big distraction to cause a panic, and Teeg and Tommy steal the cash from the money counters. Unfortunately, something seems off. Teeg sees that the security guards are on high alert and the delicate balance of this heist is being disrupted. Teeg thinks they’ve been double-crossed, but they’ve come too far to back down now. The heist must go on.

Criminal #11 cover by Sean Phillips
Criminal #11 cover by Sean Phillips

Criminal #11 finds Teeg, Tommy, and Jane attempting to pull of their big heist of the Wrestle Madness event. The plan should be perfect, but, as with all heists well-planned or otherwise, there are complications.

We get to watch Teeg adapt and react and we are given his narration and thought process as it goes. It gives the heist an intimate feeling and it shows how Teeg’s psyche has degraded from paranoia.

It’s worth mentioning that this is actually my first issue of Criminal and it speaks to the storytelling prowess of Ed Brubacker and Sean Phillips that I was able to follow along on the penultimate issue and never once feel lost.

As always, Phillips artwork is dark, gritty, and impeccably detailed. Criminal looks great and the heist sequences are given the visual intensity it needs. Phillips’ shading is one of his strongest talents, and it shines (metaphorically) in this comic. The character detailing is damn good too; Teeg looks grizzled, disheveled, yet competent and determined. Jacob Phillips’ color work adds to the book’s fantastic noir aesthetic with deep and varied shades. 

Criminal #11 is a thoroughly gripping heist comic that finds its desperate main character acting and reacting to the various complications and dangers. The intimate narration ensures that the comic feels intense from beginning to end and Sean and Jacob Phillips give the book a fantastic art style. Needless to say, this one gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.

Criminal #11 comes to us from writers Ed Brubacker and Kim Morgan, artist and cover artist Sean Phillips, and color artist Jacob Phillips. 

Final Score: 8.5/10

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