CRIME COMICS CORNER: 25 TO LIFE!
PER COMICS FORGE . . .
Three African-American police officers are publicly slain in Virginia in a matter of weeks. The case proves to be beyond the scope of traditional law enforcement, so an elite FBI team, with special privileges, is called in – a group that bends and twists the law ever so much as to wrap the cases cleanly and quickly. This special FBI unit is designed for the sole purpose of dealing with high profile cases in ways “untouchable” by traditional crimefighting avenues.
The unit is headed by Special Agent Gabriel Santana, whose crack team uses hardened criminals in a profiler fashion. These are always criminals who have committed crimes similar to those being investigated at the time. In this issue they have to resort to bargaining with the incarcerated leader of a Nazi white supremacist militia cell, who is less than cooperative at first due to his applauding the murder of three black cops. Santana, himself black, or black/ latino, however, doesn’t play by the usual rulebook or peddle a soft shoe; he offers the Nazi an offer he finds impossible to refuse.
It’s hard to say to what extent creator Eriq LaSalle himself had a hand in the story, but writer Doug Wagner overall does an excellent job. At times 25 to Life reads like a gritty mystery novel; at times it’s flavored by like-minded television series from The Wire to Law and Order: Criminal Intent – even The Unit (sans the military setting). It is sometimes redolent of pseudo-”hard-boiled” comics by the likes of Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker…
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