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Criminal, Vol. 6: The Last of the Innocent
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Criminal, Vol. 6: The Last of the Innocent (Criminal #6)

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,167 ratings  ·  81 reviews

Obsession, sex, money, and nostalgia for days long past all collide in THE LAST OF THE INNOCENT Riley Richards got it all... The hottest girl in school and a ticket to the big time. So why isn't he happy now? Why can't he forget the life he left behind in small town Brookview? And why is he plotting a mur
Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 21st 2011 by Marvel
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I’ve been struck by a smooth Criminal.

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have been doing some of the best hard boiled modern crime stories around in the Criminal series, and they’ve hit a new creative high in The Last of the Innocent.

Riley Richards grew up during the ‘60s in a seemingly idyllic suburb, and he married the local rich girl. They moved to the city where he works for his asshat father-in-law and hides a taste for unwholesome activities like whoring and gambling. When Riley goes back home
Dec 05, 2012 Kurt rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kurt by: Matt
This book takes full advantage of all the storytelling opportunities for telling a crime story through the medium of comic books, and it is jaw-droppingly amazing. The story involves a guy returning to his hometown, meeting up with his old friends, and getting trapped in a scheme that has him committing lots and lots of felonies. It would be a good story in a regular pulp novel, but adding comic book visuals takes it to a new level because of the flashbacks.

See, each flashback to Riley's past i
Sam Quixote
Who hasn't looked back on their youth through rose-tinted lenses and wished they could go back? What if you were faced with that choice, that of the two girls who were after you in high school, you chose one and ended up with a depressing and horrible life - wouldn't you wonder if you would've had a better life with the other girl?

That's the decision Riley Richards makes when he returns to Brookview (an idealistic American small town) for his father's funeral and sees the girl that got away, Liz
Brubaker and Philips are known for their off-the-wall noir storytelling, so it is no surprise to see all the noir elements at play in their Criminal series. But volume 6, The Last of the Innocent, adds an unusual visual twist by combining the dark, gritty noir vibe with a bright, cartoony style reminiscent of Archie comics.

The Archie similarities go far deeper than the art, though, as Brubaker spins a story of a man named Riley Richards. Riley has it all, thanks to his marriage to the beautiful,
Heather V
This was my first foray into the CRIMINAL world, though I've been a huge fan of other Brubaker/Phillips books for ages. I hadn't gotten around to picking up a volume until our Ladies' Comic Book Club chose it as our November read...and man, am I glad we did.

Brubaker is fantastic at writing noir. Phillips is uncannily awesome at representing the noir visually in every panel. If you've read any of their FATALE series you'll know what I mean. This stand-alone episode of CRIMINAL just proves their m
Marc Weidenbaum
Jun 30, 2012 Marc Weidenbaum added it
Shelves: comic
Weird, I thought I'd written a review when I added this book to my "library," but it didn't take for some reason. Here it is, semi-again:

. . . . .

I don't think this book is due out until December, but I read it when it appeared as four serial pamphlets earlier in the year.

This is the sixth volume of the great Criminal series by writer Ed Brubaker and illustrator Sean Phillips, who have developed a special collaborative relationship in the process of working together on several different tiles o
I think this is the best Criminal yet. It's the unusual and totally unexpected premise that gives The Last of the Innocent an extra dimension. It's Archie Comics meets noir!

So what would happen if Archie had married Veronica? Brubaker's take is an unhappy marriage, leading to an impeccably planned murder. The viewpoint character is the Archie analog, Riley Richards, now intent on on killing his Veronica-esque wife after discovering that she's having an affair with his high school rival. Througho
Wow. What a great way to end a series. Not what I expected at all, but absolutely lovely.
No one does old school noir feel like these two creators in comics field today. Brubaker's noir writing is even better than Neo-noir novels i have read.

This arc was not Lawless heist story but more like a Jim Thompson or James M Cain psychological noir.
David Schaafsma
Great finish to this noir/pulp/potboiler series. Really good page turners, all linked to create a sense of a world. This one, like one other one featuring a comic strip artist, consciously reflects on comic art, where some of the scenes where a successful guy returns to his hometown, and some of the reflect is Archie/Veronica style art. So he goes home and decides he must.. kill his wife… as part of the process of returning to a simpler time! Complications ensue… and worth the ride! Great noir a ...more
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
This book is my introduction to Brubaker and Phillips' Criminal series. It was recommended to me by a friend and fellow Archie comics enthusiast. What an usual book it is.
The book blends two types of comics that usually would not work well together: hard-boiled crime comics and cartoon teenage romance comics. Here, they work perfectly together. The characters are obvious and unashamed tributes to the gang we all know from Archie comics. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and the others are all here, just
I'm sad this was the last Volume of the brilliant Criminal series, but I'm also happy, because it was so damn great.
Imagine Archie married Veronica, had to work for Mr. Lodge, and left Riverdale. They grow up, Archie and Veronica are not happy together, and he finds out she's sleeping with Reggie. Archie goes home to find that Jughead is a recovering drug addict, Moose is the Chief of Police, and Betty still makes him feel all warm in the pants...
OK now filter this through the best crime noir ac
Hey! An intro by Patton Oswalt! Cool! You know it must be good.

And it was. Better than I expected, which means a lot considering the other Criminal titles, because they are all excellent. All that I have read thus far have a tended to punch me in the gut-- which is a good thing. Brubaker pulls no punches, but his punches are placed with artistry. He's the Muhammad Ali of crime fiction. This one is no different, and I might even give it a 5 +. Phillips' artwork was masterfully subtle and evocativ
William Thomas
One of those pulp books that would have been published under an alias for it's incongruity compared to the author's precious body of work. Brubaker tries a different tack here and fails on the whole with an overly-sentimental story most likely prompted by the death of his own father. Where the book should show true emotion, it seems brittle and hollow instead. The dialogue seems stilted and rough. More like a first draft than a finished piece.

Grade: C
Spoilers ahead...What would happen if Archie and Veronica got married, moved to new York, veronica had an affair with Reggie, Archie gets fed up causes jughead to fall off the wagon, kills Veronica and finally ends up with Betty? Oh and it was all told by the awesome team of brubaker And Philips? This book would happen. That's what. One of if not the best edition of criminal yet!
Ryan Moore
Brubaker can create a quick but good read. The Archie-style drawings about Riley reminiscing his childhood is fantastic and adds a fun twist.
Drown Hollum
Archie chooses Veronica, and after a miserable decade of regret decides that his only way out is to murder her.

That's the elevator pitch for the final volume of Ed Brubaker's and Sean Phillips' Criminal series. The Last of the Innocent is an exploratory trip through the power of nostalgia, and the relativity of morals. I can think of no better outro for the Criminal universe, than Riley Richards' search for purpose in the two-tone world in which he lives. You might not fall in love with any of
This was another really great crime novel from this team. The only weakness in the book was that the characters weren't as sympathetic as the other criminals in this series but the plot, and art more than made up for it. Sean outdid himself combining his normally gorgeous noir style visuals with more childish comic style for flashback scenes and emotion. The two worked together flawlessly and really took advantage of the comics medium for telling the story. The complexities of the plot and the t ...more
A dark and semi-tragic noire story about the attempt of the shady lead to turn his life around. This story is both gritty and complex, as the lead tries to determine his path and is willing to go to ruthlessly work to see he gets what he wants. The dialogue used for him is great and creates a great contrast between the 3rd person and 1st person points of view. Riley is a very simple person in a complex world with complex consequences, while retaining classic noire archetypes. It is debatable whe ...more
D.S. West
If you've read any of the Criminal trades, you know what you're in for. Sort of. As much as I go on about not caring as much about plot as character, style, subtext, etc., I am in awe of Brubaker's story designs. He clearly has a storytelling system, and it works. The Last of the Innocent is no exception. This one has a different feel than previous volumes, but it's every bit as good.

Artwise, Sean Phillips knocks it out of the park as usual. Panels draped in shadows; crepuscular dames with hidd
Grant's been reading the Criminal series, so when James offered up this one-off, I figured I'd give it a shot. And it turns out I really, really liked it. It had a sense of humor without compromising the violence. It had nostalgia pluck away at the heartstrings without giving up the noir pulp. The real world is gritty and dark, but the main's character's memories of childhood and his adolescence is done up like an Archie comic. It makes everything seems weirder, and it works exceptionally well. ...more
Magic Mike
This is a genius comic book. The way the art tells the story is just brilliant. It is a story about innocence being lost in more than one way. The first way is for the characters in this comic to lose their innocence. The second is for the loss of innocence in comic books as a whole. The art really reflects this with it's old time, wholesome, archie-esque art style compared to the gritty art style of the rest of the comic. In terms of the Criminal series, there has never been better work done. B ...more
Another favorite of mine. Imagine if the Riverdale kids, you know...Archie and the gang, were all real. Like very real, with adultry, murder, drugs and crime. I know how that might seem. Just trust me. Trust Brubaker & Phillips. Riley Richards is living the dream life, a good job, a hot wife but...he's miserable. He has a secret. That's a recipe for murder. So he decides to kill his wife, all along the way killing much of his past as well. He has it all planned out. Is he smart enough to get ...more
Dave Riley
I like the Criminal franchise a lot 'cause you get old guard noir (as someone called it ). The pacing. The picturing. The dark, limited palet coloring. All old style stuff...but the story and dialogue --all them puffs of smoke thingies -- drive the package big time.

The story rules. Sharp edge stuff. In the groove and not falling out of it.

The sort of Archie comics edge here is nonetheless delightfully inventive. (What do I mean? Go read the thing.)

But back to the main game: you can't go wrong
Great series in general and a gripping volume in particular: What drives a regular guy to murder his wife and what does it need to cover up murder? One Goodreads-star is withdrawn since cartoony art in the middle of a noir book isn't exactly mine: Riley's flashbacks appear cartoony since memories are often idealized and it serves as a visual reference to "similar" characters in the Archie comics from the 1940s:
"My childhood love of Archie and Richie Rich and Little Lulu certainly informed the in
Lucas Brown
A pulpish modern noir story, with flashback memories to small town life drawn in an Archie comics style. Exceptionally well-done, but will make you wonder if you had an alibi for the night spent reading it.
An excellent story in a series on constant quality, Brubaker's crime thriller title is a great read, and this is well worth picking up. A great example of what comics can do away from capes and tights.
Jerry Delaney
Okay, not the most intellectually stimulating book out there. But c'mon; it only takes an hour to read. The book is pulp fiction; like a graphic film noir. Well drawn. The interesting thing is that book is drawn in the style of pulp fiction covers. Dark, somewhat realistic, guys smoking cigarettes and corpses laid out next to the bed. But the characters reminisce about when they all first met, in high school. Those panels are drawn in the style of Archie and Veronica. Those two styles should not ...more
Kevin Mann
Brubaker and Phillips. Again. Yep. And like the others i have read from their archives, Pretty good! And just the right length. Sometimes their things go on a few "chapters" or issues too long, but this was concise , to the point and just the correct amount of twists and turns and nostalgia we can identify with. The "archie" style flashbacks were a great storytelling device, made it more interesting than the standard, usual cliched retro crime-noir fare....i am new to the CRIMMINAL line, so i gu ...more
One of the better and more entertaining installments in the Criminal series. Brubaker takes a simple crime noir plot and takes it into unexpected directions with the good character development, motivational insight and dark characters that one has come to expect from Criminal. As a twist when our hero has a flashback to his past, the artwork reverts to an Archie Comics style that reflects what he remembers his childhood innocence in small town USA in the 1960's as being. The contrast between the ...more
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central, Sleeper, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Deadly Genesis, and The Authority, and for helping
More about Ed Brubaker...

Other Books in the Series

Criminal (6 books)
  • Criminal, Vol. 1: Coward
  • Criminal, Vol. 2: Lawless
  • Criminal, Vol. 3: The Dead and the Dying
  • Criminal, Vol. 4: Bad Night
  • Criminal, Vol. 5: The Sinners
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