Overview

The Last Days of American Crime #2

Review

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The Last Days of American Crime #2

Credits

  • Words: Rick Remender
  • Art: Greg Tocchini
  • Publisher: Radical Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2010

Writer Rick Remender and artist Greg Tocchini continue their high concept, neo-noir, crime caper with wild abandon. This mishmash of genres is a wild little ride that lends itself well to the unique shipping schedule it follows. Eventually being collected in three double sized, prestige format books, this second entry moves at a break neck pace, but still manages to jam a load of character information without feeling like an info dump.

If you had to break this whole chapter down in one word, its character. This is the part in a story where your leads' true natures are revealed through action and adversity. The first was all about set up and a glimpse into these peoples lives. This one delves a little deeper, specifically regarding the upcoming loss of moral freedom and the way our main characters deal with that grief.

Established previously, The Last Days of American Crime takes place in the not too distant future. In this politically charged landscape, the government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to commit acts that are considered criminal or immoral. No more crime, nary a sin, and most of all, the end of terrorism. Two weeks before it goes live, we meet Graham Bricke and his makeshift team of criminals, planning to pull off one last heist. Saying this story has a lot involved in it is an understatement.

With the introduction behind us, we're brought back into this world, only four days out from being morally corrected. We're given the time get to know the people involved and some of the connections they have to one another. It's been said that your life flashes before your eyes right before the end. In a way, this issue is about knowing a part of you is about to die. What would you do to say goodbye? Some accelerate their behavior, some meditate and question the world, while others take their destructive tendencies to a fatal level.

Not only do we learn more about these people, but we also learn that they are now capable of so much more, for better or worse. What makes this great is that Remender has not only raised the stakes for the story, but also emotionally for the individuals involved. Nothing about this plan is simple anymore. Loyalties, feelings, and motivations are all in the wind now, but like any good and desperate grifter, you have to stick to the plan.

Returning with force is illustrator Greg Tocchini, inking and coloring his own pencils in a graphic and painterly way. There is no group of words that describes his style efficiently. At times, it's almost photo realistic and then within the same panel, fuses into something more loose and kinetic. It's fluid and is always appropriate to the tone of the scene. The colors are practically tactile in parts. They feel dry, cold, hot, and wet if the setting calls for it. Tocchini's art elevates Remender's story beyond enjoyment and into a more memorable experience.

So far, The Last Days of American Crime is shaping up to be the best kind of fiction. Its thought provoking, pays homage, and uses genre cliches to great effect while maintaining the fast, loose, and grandiose nature of the medium. Action, noir, sex, crime, drama, and a dash of science fiction, toss it in a blender and serve lukewarm. 

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