[Comic Book Review] Image Comics’ CRIMINAL Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC

PopCultHQ received advance review copy of CRIMINAL Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC from Image Comics. Available April 14th, the creative team for this book features writing by Ed Brubaker, art from Sean Phillips, and colors by Val Staples.

Here is PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…

CRIMINAL Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Val Staples

Cover Artist: Sean Phillips

FC • 440 pages • $49.99 (SRP)

A fantastically designed and printed book showcasing the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning crime comics from the creators of Sleeper and Incognito, this oversized, deluxe hardback edition features CRIMINAL, books 1-3: “COWARDS,” “LAWLESS,” and THE DEAD AND THE DYING. Also features many extras, including a CRIMINAL short story and the never-before-printed, five-page “movie trailer in comics form” that BRUBAKER and PHILLIPS created to announce the series online, plus illustrations, selected articles, behind-the-scenes glimpses, painted covers, and much more! Features an introduction by comics legend and Watchmen artist DAVE GIBBONS.

Collects “COWARD,” “LAWLESS,” “THE DEAD AND THE DYING,” and more!


Spoiler-Free Review 3

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
CRIMINAL Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC

Only the good die young. But the bad do as well. Crime never pays, yet the criminals keep on trying again and again. Fans of the dynamic duo of Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips are in for a treat with the CRIMINAL Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 HC. Page after page of hair-raising stories from a team that has given the industry some of the finest crime comics to date. 

Writing: Ed Brubaker. A first-class writer who has played around with so many different comic genres, one could argue he is a regular literary Renaissance man. He’s played in the worlds of both Marvel and DC, always to great success. Yet some of his most defining work as a writer has always been works like CRIMINAL. Revisiting the first three stories in the series in this first volume is a veritable walk down memory lane. Though time has passed and continues to pass, Ed’s writing still remains as fantastic as it always has been and shall continue to be.

Art: Sean Philips and Ed Brubaker. One of the many writer/artist teams that have carved out a wide swath of success with their collaborations over the years. Seeing Sean’s art from the first three CRIMINAL stories again brought such a smile to this reviewer’s face. His art style is 💯; uniquely fantastic and always so visually immersive. Sean’s art speaks volumes on its own. Combined with Ed’s stories, the artwork takes on a whole new life of its own. 

Colors: Val Staples’ long association with Philips and Brubaker is the final piece of the puzzle. The work he does as colorist to add to the already grim and gritty worlds that are put forth in this HC are magnificent. It puts to mind what finished storyboards for a movie or show are/should look like. Modern crime epics or down=and-dirty tales of woe. It goes without saying, Val Staples is a master colorist, and this HC is one of his masterpieces.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

Making the return journey into the world of Brubaker/Philips/Staples was a joyous ride. Aside from the first three amazing stories from this collaboration, the rest of the HC is chock full of ‘extras’ for fans/readers. A book of this caliber not only demands to be read over and over, it needs to be placed in a spot of honor on a shelf or coffee table. Time to journey into the world of the criminal once more. Don’t forget to bring this book with you. 

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars


Publisher – Image Comics

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.

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