The future is bleak and deadly, at least that’s what The Last Days Of American Crime tosses directly into our face on the first page. And it continues to do so for the entirety of the book. And while we are definitely dealing with a post-contemporary setting, nothing is really so far-fetched that you cannot imagine it being possible. There’s a sense of lawlessness that seems like it verges on anarchy, though we are routinely given to know that the government and police forces are still standing by. Everything seems to be hinging on an event that’s taking place a fortnight from now.
After the loss of ten million people to dirty bombs across six major cities caused the government to seek alternative means of control, in this case: a neuro-inhibitor that makes it impossible for anyone to knowingly break the law, in any way, form, or fashion. This move, entitled the American Peace Initiative is nothing less than mind control. Coinciding with a momentous change in banking, moving from physical currency to an all digital concept, this event has wreaked havoc on the criminal elements nationwide. It is in this pressing time frame that Graham Bricke has decided to plan a heist that will set him up for life, unlimited funds forevermore.
The plan is far from foolproof and involves a few more people who are no less dangerous than our career criminal leading man: Kevin Cash, a slick and deadly safe cracker who is accompanied by the sultry Shelby Dupree, the hacker of the group. Twisted lies and deadly agendas permeate the story line, keeping the reader in the dark until the very last minute. Even when you think you know what’s happening, you’ll find something that you missed later in the comic. Even the ending has the potential to throw you for a loop.
Writer Rick Remender and artist Greg Tocchini are the creative minds behind this awesome noir comic. It’s sex, drugs, and death in a panel by panel exploration of the basest human desires and emotions. I was stunned at how fast I came to like and fear for the characters. Remender’s dialogue is both gritty and urban, presenting us with a realistic series that feels like a novel in comic form. As far as the illustrations go, let’s just say I would pay good money for an original piece of art from Tocchini. His work holds so much raw emotion in it; he really manages to convey pain, suffering, and passion in the deepest of ways. I would love him to design a pinup tattoo for me. No, really.
In summation, I loved this graphic novel. Not for any one thing in particular, but because of everything it has going for it. There’s not a downside unless you consider the mature rating a downside, but with all the partial nudity and gratuitous violence, children shouldn’t be reading this anyway. But you should, provided you are an adult. I wasn’t overly familiar with these folks prior to this, but I will be seeking out more from them immediately. It’s a journey, reading this book. It collects only three issues, but the whole book is almost 200 pages! Talk about getting your money’s worth. That’s all I’ve got on the subject, but you’d be foolish to skip this one.