Review - The Last Days of American Crime #1

You may have seen on this site a few days ago that the first printing of LDAC sold out. I’m certainly a huge fan of many of Radical’s comics lately with titles like Hercules: The Knives of Kush and FVZA having recently been reviewed (the previews I’ve seen for upcoming titles like Aladdin look equally awesome). This series is brought to us by writer Rick Remender and the Art is done by Greg Tocchini. You know a series is being well received when a quick google search sees things like Sam Worthington of recent Avatar fame signing up for an upcoming miniseries adaptation of this world (everything on the internet is true right?). While I’m not here to speak about the development of that little gem, I am excited to give you my view of this comic that came out not to long ago, with issue #2 due for release next month. Read on for my take on this interesting new title. This comic takes an interesting spin on the idea of complete government control of a population under its control. The American government is mere weeks away from releasing something called the American Peace Initiative that has the country in an uproar. The other major storyline happening (and the one that actually brings our main characters together) is the elimination of paper money from the system and a move to all plastic electronic currency. The API has people in a tizzy, although we are left to our own devices to piece together why. Apparently committing a crime in the country will be impossible when it is released and it has something to do with a frequency. This is also supposed to be a big secret since the reporters who cracked the story seem to have had an “accident.” Through reading the promotional materials we find out that the API is actually a frequency that will be broadcast within the United States that will act as a sort of mind control, forcing people to act within the law. This has everyone in full “commit one last crime” mode as they perceive a huge loss to their freedom coming, hence the last days of American crime. Graham Brick is a security guard at one of the locations where the device that controls the charge card loading is kept. He brings in Kevin Cash and Shelby Dupree to assist him with the heist as it is too much for him to complete alone. Various interesting stories begin to develop and the connections between the characters are developed. Graham seems to be involved in a number of shady dealings that I’m sure will have some impact on his plans as we progress. We don’t get much of a look at the history of Kevin and Shelby but I’m sure we will. To me, the main draw of this comic was the artwork. Tocchini’s work has hints of the cel-shaded art that I’m seeing more and more in games and comics alike, but the art wasn’t trying to be too realistic. Overall it really lent to the feeling of chaos going on and the group scenes with lots of people have a really cool look to it. This issue was mostly setup, and the action only kicked in at a few points. The setup was very movie-like in that the first page is a picture of our anti-hero Graham lying in a pool of blood with a gun to his head. Who knows what happens there or what will transpire to reach that point of events, but there are two weeks in the timeline to find out. This series has the potential to be really creative and original, or it could be another government takeover story with Orwellian overtones of public mind control. I LIKE the idea and think it is going to come off well in this instance. The involvement of authorities, old enemies and characters that are largely still enigmas intrigue me and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story progresses. I’m also just looking forward to seeing the artwork some more as I really thought it had a very unique feel to it. Once again I think Radical is hitting all the right notes for yet another successful series.