With so many big names and big events plastered across the shelves of your LCS, sometimes great comics get left behind – buried in longboxes until someone comes along to find these Hidden Gems.
Mind control has long been a staple of every good mad scientist’s repertoire, but what if the government was behind a mind control scheme? Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime is set in a world where the government is taking the last step it can to ensure the safety of the American people. They’re preparing to broadcast a subliminal message over the airwaves that would make it impossible for a person to commit an act they know to be illegal. Thus, crime is a thing of the past. The Canadian and Mexican borders are crammed full of people trying to flee the country and the media is having a field day playing sides as to whether such a move is in the best interest of the country or the stuff of nightmares and science fiction villainy. “It’s a slippery slope,” and all that jazz. At the same time, paper money is about to be put out to pasture and all transactions will now be done electronically on debit cards. There’s no more cash to steal.
It’s a different take on a familiar concept and it’s the end of crime that drives this spectacular tale of crime and violence. When you’re a bad guy and your livelihood is about to be made impossible, what’s your next move? Cities all across the countries descend into chaos in the final days before the broadcast as America has itself a fire sale on voluntary decency. The dirtbags are absolutely trying to get theirs while they can. Some are looking for ways to go legit and others are looking to make it big any way they can. Others are just looking to settle old scores as violently as they can.
Our hero is a career lowlife named Graham. He’s assembled a small team in Kevin (the pretty rich know it all weapons expert) and Shelby (the sexpot super hacker) to pull off the one last job that will set them up for life in this, the true last days of American crime. The fact that Kevin and Shelby are lovers of course means the job becomes unnecessarily complicated quickly and nothing goes exactly as planned. The plot is intense. The dialogue is razor sharp. And then, of course, there’s Tocchino’s dirty, raw art painting the pages in blood and glass all along the way, all wrapped in stunning covers from Alex Maleev. The Last Days of American Crime is one of the sexiest, most action-packed noir thrillers I’ve ever seen in any medium. Crime fiction just doesn’t get any better than this.
I cannot recommend this book enough, now conveniently available in trade paperback at fine comic book retailer nationwide. The Last Days of American Crime gets a perfect 5 out of 5 sociopathic loopholes.