Image Comics; $49.99

It’s no secret to regular Scoop readers that I’ve been a big fan of writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips’ creator-owned series Criminal since its earliest days at Marvel’s Icon imprint, or that my affection for it has continued to the present. Even so, it’s been a really long wait – since 2012 – for there to be enough material to collect in another of these great hardcovers.

After the Criminal material featured in Volume 2, Brubaker and Phillips tackled other projects, including Fatale, The Fade Out, Kill Or Be Killed, and Pulp before returning to the series with a number of one-shots, an original graphic novel, and a 12-issue new series.

Collected in this new edition are Savage Sword Of Criminal and Deadly Hands Of Criminal, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies and Bad Weekend, and issues 1 and 4 of the recent Criminal monthly series, and to clear up any question, it was worth the wait.

Criminal has maintained an overall non-linear approach to storytelling since it began, but each arc is accessible, easy to follow, and welcoming of readers new and old alike. Readers who enjoy this volume should also pick up the Cruel Summer hardcover collection, which is comprised of a good bit of the recent series run as well.

– J.C. Vaughn