Smooth Criminals: Issues 1 & 2, by Kurt Lustgarten and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith

I had hopes for Smooth Criminals, the second comic from the creators of Misfit City. Unfortunately, there is an art to pacing a comic series that creators Kurt Lustgarten and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith still haven't mastered, and this time they're not rolling with the automatic goodwill generated by many references to a widely beloved 80s movie.

Smooth Criminals is set in 1999 San Francisco, where a socially awkward hacker named Brenda is stuck in the world's dullest work/study program. Brenda is bored out of her mind, until she discovers a mysterious tube protected by high-level computer encryption in one of her university's dusty storage rooms. When she manages to crack the code, the tube opens and a woman tumbles out—Mia, a cryogenically frozen master thief from the 1960s.

Nothing about Smooth Criminals is terrible, but it feels like a cake baked by someone who knows the ingredients but not the proportions. The good elements (Leisha Riddel's artwork, the premise, and the jokes) are buried under weird pacing, uneven character development, and petty but irritating plot holes. The end product is pretty messy, but there are enough promising bits hiding in the rubble that I'm hoping Lustgarten and Smith find the perfect editor (or give their current editor the authority) to fine-tune their material into something better suited to their chosen medium.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.