The Last Days of American Crime #3


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The Last Days of American Crime #3


  • Words: Rick Remender
  • Art: Greg Tocchini
  • Publisher: Radical Publishing
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Sep 1, 2010

Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini wrap up their high-concept heist with style.

Rick Remender is no stranger to working with high concepts and seedy characters, from Heath Huston to Frank Castle, grizzled and worn men getting through each day by merely refusing to stop breathing. In that same mold, he gives us Graham Bricke. He’s a career criminal, part-time convict, and full-time hard ass, putting together one of the biggest heists of the 21st century. The only catch is that he’s got two weeks to pull it off, because after that, no one in America will be capable of crime.

This is the set up for The Last Days of American Crime, a three issue, prestige format series from writer Rick Remender and artist Greg Tocchini. Wrapping up in this issue, Remender finally takes us on the heist and we get to see who really was playing who. He’s constructed such a tight narrative that the over-sized issue is dense, but never poorly paced. By now, all characters are completely defined (minus some loyalties or plot twists) and the stage is set. All that’s left to do is pull off the job and pray for the best.

At the end of issue two, Graham puts himself on the line to save Shelby, the fiery vixen on his team that he just can’t shake. For all intents and purposes, he shouldn’t be sticking his neck out for her, but he just can’t help it. One spectacular car chase and a few casualties later, things seem to be back on target. After seeing how off the handle Kevin, accomplice number two and Shelby’s deranged boyfriend, can be in the last issue, we’re left to wonder if he’s going to play along as planned. Like all good noir, there are multiple angles, spinning and shifting every second, it’s impossible to know how all this will end. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

What an enjoyable ride it is, too, thanks to artist extraordinaire Greg Tocchini. Greg’s style is like none other. His lines are fluid and loose, but never misshapen or sloppy. His storytelling techniques and layouts are dynamic, but not too north of the medium’s common vocabulary. He’s able to balance raw emotions with very kinetic figures, so much so that the pencils become looser when the story gains momentum and then tighten back up as it slows down. It’s almost as if motion distorts the action, successfully capturing chaos, but still leaves room for the more emotional picturesque moments. It’s the best of all worlds – there’s loose, sketchy, tight, painted, and textured art inside, blended together and capturing a truly unique look.

Remender wisely doesn’t concern himself with reinventing the wheel when it comes to the crime genre. Instead, he‘s decided to add more spokes and grooves, making it a more layered endeavor. Part western and part heist, with a touch of noir, a pinch of crime; all blended together through the grinder of Dirty Harry. Finally, it’s garnished with conceivable science fiction and what you have is one of the not to be missed books of 2010.

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  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Sep 2, 2010 at 4:18am

    Ok Noel, you convinced on buying the eventual TPB.

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