# 22 A graphic novel

Once again, Ed Brubaker makes the list… he tops it, in fact. For my money Brubaker has helmed the absolute best contemporary crime comics available, from Gotham Central, to Fatale and of course, his masterful Criminal series drawn by Sean Phillips. Brubaker always crafts an expert detective yarn. Criminal, as a long standing series, has told a number of different stories throughout its life in print, but my favorite tale would have to be the most recently told: The Last of The Innocent. Classic crime noir has never been done better in a graphic novel. Everything just works so well; the doomed, morally bankrupt protagonist, the dialog, the set-up, the payoff. All of it is tight and smart. Criminal: The Last of the Innocent is tragic and beautiful in all of its garish, human ugliness, and it stands as the prime example of crime fiction done right in the graphic medium.
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