Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips are returning to their celebrated crime noir comic Criminal with a new monthly series of the same name to debut in January.

This latest series will start Jan. 9 with a new double-sized Criminal #1 through Image Comics, the publisher announced Tuesday via press release. As has become standard for the duo’s books, this latest series will also feature a fair amount of back matter, including articles and additional illustrations.

The original Criminal first debuted back in 2006, running for 10 issues. The series has gone on to span 26 issues across four volumes and to net the team multiple Eisner Awards. Brubaker and Phillips are one of the most consistent and high-profile regular pairings in comics, having also worked together on popular creator-owned series like Incognito, Fatale, The Fade Out (my personal favorite), and, most recently, Kill or Be Killed. This month they also teamed on an original graphic novel, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies.

The new story is being teased as “the return of Teeg Lawless, whose teenage son is causing him trouble that he may not be able to fight his way out of, for the first time in his violence-fueled life.”

The full press release from Image is below:

Hot off the critically acclaimed, bestselling series KILL OR BE KILLED and breakout hit original graphic novel MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, crime comic masters Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips return to their beloved, iconic CRIMINAL series. The multiple Eisner award-winning CRIMINAL will return as an all-new monthly from Image Comics in January 2019.

“CRIMINAL was where Sean and I really established our brand as a team, and while writing MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES (which takes place in the CRIMINAL world), it just suddenly felt like the perfect time to bring it back to the monthly comic shelves. But this time I wanted it to be different—not just serialized graphic novels, but also single-issue stories and even the odd two-issue story sometimes,” said Brubaker. “I love the elasticity that CRIMINAL allows me—because this world we’ve created gives me a place to tell any kind of crime story and to focus on different characters, both old and new—and I want to really embrace the monthly comics format, and try to create a series where readers will never know what’s coming next from issue to issue.”

CRIMINAL #1 will debut as a double-sized issue, featuring the return of Teeg Lawless, whose teenage son is causing him trouble that he may not be able to fight his way out of, for the first time in his violence-fueled life.

Phillips added: “It’s a pleasure to return to the world of CRIMINAL with new stories of familiar characters and new characters too. I’m back to drawing on paper after a few years drawing THE FADE OUT and KILL OR BE KILLED digitally, so it’s also a welcome return to inky fingers and white-out.”

A perfect introduction for readers to the dark and exciting world of CRIMINAL, this new series will also include back-page articles and illustrations to bring readers more fully into the noir experience.

CRIMINAL #1 (Diamond Code NOV180021) will be available on Wednesday, January 9th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, December 10th.

CRIMINAL #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.


  1. Think I’m in a better place where I’m more critically aware and am in self possession than the last time I picked up Brubaker on single issues. Better to not to subsume my identity chasing down all of his book and movie recommendations in his back-up matter, now. I think.

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