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The Last Days of American Crime #1
by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini
Published by Radical Comics

So this whole health care issue has kind of been lingering for a while. I understand the goal of trying to provide decent coverage for as many people as possible. I think that hard-working people should be able to have their kids taken care of if they get sick, particularly with something pretty severe. But then, yeah, how do you pay for all that? How do you address the issue of not having enough doctors/nurses/support personnel to facilitate all that? It's a really tough bind, made even more so when you throw in special interests from pharmaceuticals, malpractice issues, lobbyists, etc. I understand that each side (of which there are obviously more than two) wants to stick steadfastly to their ideals and their constituents' values. I find it unlikely that we're going to reach solutions that make everyone happy, but I am hopeful that we can find something that works for more people than are covered now.

I realize that sounds pretty ambiguous as to where I stand, but it's hard to really stand anywhere solidly. I understand some of the arguments of all sides, but I'm not really in a position to understand the situation from every angle. I do feel, though, that they should come up with a solution soon. If they don't, then all of the characters in The Last Days of American Crime are going to be in even more trouble than they're in already. I mean, seriously, there's arson, robbery, battery, multiple GSWs (gun shot wounds), and even some promiscuous sex. And this is only the first issue.

I noticed a few days ago that I've been doing a lot of reviews on these noir-influenced crime books. I was intending to do something from a different genre for this one, but just couldn't resist. I really like this book. Truth be told, I'm liking a lot of what is coming out of Radical Comics. Along with BOOM! Studios, I think they're putting out some fresh titles. Nothing that's breaking any molds, but stuff that you don't really get much of from the other bigger publishers. They're providing an outlet for writers to put out material that the big boys typically wouldn't carry. Plus, I'm really digging Radical's philosophy of way more pages for only a little more dough (standard price for a 22-page book these days is $2.99 to $3.99, Radical sells 48 pages for $4.99).

Last Days is being brought to us courtesy of Rick Remender, who rose to prominence writing new titles for Image. That caught the attention of both DC and Marvel, for whom he has written a few stories. Art is provided by Greg Tocchini. I haven't liked his previous work, as I thought it didn't really fit the superhero stories where it was being used. However, it fits perfectly with Last Days. It's stylistic, moody, gritty - everything you need in a noir/crime book.

As far as premise, we got Graham, a down-on-his-luck tough guy looking for that one last score that'll get him out of the game for good. Of course, he gets involved with a woman who complicates the whole situation. A detail I like is that they gave her star tattoos on her right shoulder and just over her right booby (hehe... booby). It was just a kind of sexy touch they added. Less sexy for sure, though, is the wicked shiner she's sporting on her right eye when we first see her. Not what I was expecting from a girl named Shelby. More of what you'd get from a Trinity, Chastity, or Raven. Apparently, this is already on its way to becoming a movie with Sam Worthington attached. You know, that guy from Avatar? I'm hoping they treat it as a smaller film; I'd hate to see it ruined by Hollywood.

Who should read this book:
People who have wanted to carry out a vendetta.
People who read hard-boiled crime fiction.
People who need to pull off one more big heist before quitting the crime game.

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Nooch's Comic Reviews

More people should be reading comic books, dammit. As the resident comic book elitist, Nooch has made it his personal quest to get more noobs heading into their own dimly-lit comics dungeon every Wednesday to peruse the vastly under-rated world of sequential art.

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