Reviewed By David O’ Leary
Story by: Ed Brubaker
Cover Date: September 2008
“Bad Night Part 2 of 4”
Brubaker enters into chapter two of ‘Bad Night’ not skipping a beat from the last panel from the previous issue and with it he is in full flow. With that the blurb on the back of the issue of “Winner of the Eisner Award for Best Writer Two Years in a Row” is a just reward based on the excellent series this has being through the first volume and the first five issues of this one so far.
This issue follows Jacob as he prepares a forged FBI badge for Danny whilst trying to deal with the constant fighting between Danny and Iris and try apportion his fluctuating feelings for Iris whose mind is so all over the place due to alcohol and failed beginnings in life, she could be a danger to him. Brubaker’s ease in tying all the plot threads together to make a coherent and compelling story makes this a page turner like none other on the stands.
With so much of the narrative coming from Jacob’s mind and his subconscious thoughts being projected in the form of Frank Kafka PI you really feel sympathetic for him as he tried to piece his life back together after being personally and professionally destroyed because of a false accusation of murder. His simplistic form of revenge against the bloodhound of a detective that interrogated him is by putting a version of him in his comic strip, it seems like a small victory to a man who is in self exile and to an outsider may seem like an insignificant result. Brubaker’s handling of Jacobs mental state is what makes this book such a winner for me.
Sean Phillips’ art is as always just great. His ability to produce an eye pulling cover is what attracted me in the first place to this book and you really cannot think of any other artist on the book in his place. His dark telling of the story is enhanced with deliberate colour undertones from the versatile Val Stapes. Staples grey colouring of Kafka when he appears and his bright pink backgrounds for when Iris is getting down with Jacob shows how important a colourist can be to complete the writers vision for the completed article.
It is widely known that Criminal is the very best crime noir book out there bar none. The book coupled with the always enjoyable and informative extras at the back of the book offer unmatched value for money. If there is any message to remember from this article, then it is this: buy this book if you haven’t already and tell others about it. They will not be disappointed.
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Name: David O' Leary