‘Smooth Criminals #1:’ Comic Book Review

The ‘90s were a simpler time, when the general public still wasn’t 100% sure what computers were capable of, and all that a movie character had to say was, “I’m a hacker,” and suddenly they were the most powerful person on the planet. The '90s gave us movies like Hackers, wherein cracking a computer was essentially a video game, and The Matrix, wherein hacking literally gave you superpowers.

Smooth Criminals hearkens back to that simpler time, taking place in 1999 and allowing its computer genius protagonist to accomplish phenomenal feats with no more explanation than, “I’m a hacker.” This may sound like I’m being harsh or critical of the comic, but in fact, I loved it.

Brenda, or “Killa-B,” is the best of the best when it comes to computer code, but a bit lacking when it comes to real life. She lets her boss bully her into doing janitorial work instead of the coding she was hired for and ends an awkward social interaction with a stranger by yelling after her, “So, are we friends now?”

Then, Brenda discovers a strange pod in a little-used storage area. Upon opening it, she meets Mia Corsair, a cryogenically frozen jewel thief from 1969. Corsair is pretty much the exact opposite of Brenda. She’s classy, elite, and totally badass, but when it comes to technology, she’s completely ignorant and hopelessly outdated. But, perhaps together, the pair can help each other—and maybe even become friends.

This comic was a lot of fun. The story has a number of familiar elements, but it’s the characters that drive it. Brenda’s awkwardness is just silly enough to be believable, without being over exaggerated. We don’t have quite as much of a handle on Mia, the woman of mystery, but I like what I’ve seen so far, and there’s a great odd couple chemistry between her and Brenda. Add a few '90s cultural references into the mix for the fun of it, and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty awesome and engaging adventure. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.


Creative Team: Kurt Lustgarten & Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith (creators and writers), Leisha Riddel (illustrator), Brittany Peer (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (lettering)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.

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