The Last Days of American Crime #1


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The Last Days of American Crime #1


  • Words: Rick Remender
  • Art: Greg Tocchini
  • Publisher: Radical Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Dec 23, 2009

With only two weeks left until America becomes completely crime free, Graham Bricke is planning one last score. But like most elaborate heists, things don’t go according to plan. With the clock ticking, starting over is not an option. It’s time to improvise.

The Last Days of American Crime comes to us from the beautiful mind of Rick Remender, creator of Fear Agent and current writer of Punisher and Doctor Voodoo. For those familiar with his work, they will be happy to know that his original voice remains intact in this new work.

Remender has a knack for taking very high concepts and mashing them with familiar storytelling themes and staples. For instance, combining interstellar war with a nigh alcoholic redneck cowboy begat Fear Agent. Taking the familiar Frank Castle and crossbreeding him with Creature Feature monsters is filling the current pages of Punisher. He has an uncanny ability to squeeze new things from the right mix of familiarities, making his work wholly original but accessible and comforting at the same time. To top it off, the end result is always fun.

Last Days is set in the not too distant future of our own society. The American government has developed a way to prevent crime, making people physically incapable of committing any acts of immorality with the deployment of specific frequencies. Naturally, riots of the opulent variety pop up in major cities. Mexican and Canadian borders are using lethal force due to the influx of American refugees. The world is turning upside down and people are asking themselves; If you only had a couple of weeks to be bad, what would you do?

We met Graham Bricke, an ex con/junkie security guard, taking care of a loose end. It seems his retirement plan has hit a speed bump, forcing his hand. Graham plans to steal a credit machine (in this future, paper currency is a thing of the past, so the government can trace and track all transactions) and secure an unlimited source of funds on the night of the great moral “ON” switch.  Unfortunately, now Graham is without his third man, who doubled as the computer specialist. Any career criminal will tell you, it’s always a bad idea to change the line up mid stream, but with no options, Graham has to fight his instinct and hope he lands softly back onto his life experiences.

This issue generally concerns itself with set up and an introduction of characters. The actual story doesn’t kick into rising action mode until the last third of its impressive page count.  Hitching a ride on the Remender train is illustrator Greg Tocchini, whose painted style has an amalgam of touches, as though Steve McNiven and Ben Oliver had a love child who is particularly fond of Don Bluth animated movies. It is a wonderful mix of photo real designs, but maintains an artistic style only native to comics. The color scheme is also a sight, laying out each scene in its own tone, truly becoming a part of the story’s voice. 

The Last Days of American Crime is a really well thought out and executed story hinging on our believability of the events taking place. Remender paces this first act with just enough information, bravado, and grizzled noir to keep a hungry reader satisfied. With this much on the plate and so many different ways the events can unfold, I am anxious to see how it will all pan out.

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  • Steve Kanaras

    Steve Kanaras Dec 25, 2009 at 11:12am

    I love near future speculative fiction. Gonna track this down.

  • CA3

    CA3 Dec 28, 2009 at 12:49am

    I'm with Steve, this reads like it'll be very interesting.

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