Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
The Last Days of American Crime #2 of 3
Remender & Tocchini
The stakes are raised in this issue as the heist date nears and the number of players increases. Remender delivers another thriller that leaves the reader behind if you can't keep up with the plot. He's managed to switch the characters over being mostly all antagonists to all being protagonists as I find myself cheering on the three leads in the story as more and more trouble finds them. This is another terrific read for those looking for a good crime drama in the same vain as an Ed Brubaker comic only with slightly less noir influence and a little more science fiction sprinkled in.
The comic follows Graham, Kevin and Shelby as each has different tasks to complete before they steal the untraceable, active debit cards. Graham has a second identity to maintain in this issue as he begins to place himself in position for the heist. We also follow him as he appears to meet up with the person who fed him some the information for the crime. However, everything with Graham is not peachy as he continues to get himself more involved with Shelby and his past (from issue one) catches up with him in this issue.
As for Kevin, he has a coming out party in this issue in a big way. In two horrific scenes he establishes himself as a major, violent weapon. In one, he merely battles off three thugs, but it's the brutality that's worth remembering. The other, he pays his father a visit looking for something more than just a tool for the robbery. The interaction with the father is a terrific way to present his psychotic side. Kevin is every bit as dangerous as any character in this story and he stands out as the one mostly willing to take the most chances.
Finally, Shelby gets fleshed out a bit in this comic. She is obviously more of an actress than on-the-level with just about any other character. However, she does seem to have a thing for Graham which complicates the crime and her motives. The comic ends with her getting thrust into the forefront in a bad way. The resolution plays into this issue and is fairly gut-wrenching and adds more depth and sympathy for her.
Tocchini has an unpolished style. I personally love the art but it is definitely an acquired taste. There isn't much in the way of coloring or touches over his pencils, which helps to keep the story very grim. As society erodes around the characters it does make sense that scenes would look so bleak. This issue has a lot of action and I felt the artwork helps push across quite a bit of drama delivering those sequences. This was a very strong effort from the art team.
Last Days of American Crime ups the action and the drama as the crime date draws nearer. The characters take over the issue but the plot helps keep the tension high. If you like crime dramas with a twist of science fiction then you should probably pick up this fifty-plus page story. It's a terrific read.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles