Recommendations for 12/26

This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 24, 2019.

CRIMINAL #11

Criminal has been slowly constructing its largest story ever, a sprawling crime saga that connects many familiar and new characters from the series’ mythos around one heist that begins in this issue. What makes Criminal #11 such an exciting new installment isn’t that the scale of the robbery, but how well those involved in it have been developed. All of these characters are deeply flawed, but in spite of their worst behaviors remain sympathetic and recognizably human. Foreshadowing has already revealed some of the tragedy bound to occur in these pages, but the hows and whys are every bit as important as what will happen. After decades of dominating the crime genre, this arc reads like Brubaker and Phillips’ magnum opus and watching it unfold in these pages will be a highlight of the holiday season. — Chase Magnett

Published by Image Comics

Written by Ed Brubaker

Art by Sean Phillips

EAST OF WEST #45

East of West arrived as part of the Image Comics renaissance alongside the likes of Saga and Sex Criminals, a wave of creator-owned books that reinvigorated interest in the direct market and what could be accomplished with serialized pamphlets that slowly stacked up to build epics. And now, after almost 7 years of storytelling, East of West is concluding as intended after some delays, but without any compromises. This vision of an alternative America, one divided into many nations better prepared to invite the apocalypse than avoid, has only become more relevant since the series began and the finale delivers a poignant capstone. Not only is the completion of this series an accomplishment unto itself, it also highlights that this specific series never lost its early luster as it delivers an ending that feels even more significant than its start. This is a series that will be celebrated for years to come in no small part due to this excellent conclusion. — Chase Magnett

Published by Image Comics

Written by Jonathan Hickman

Art by Nick Dragotta

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