For me cops and robbers goes back even further in memory than my love for comics. With my first police investigator briefcase complete with pistol, notebook, and handcuffs, playing cops and robbers with my brother and cousins ignited my love of the genre in film, TV, and comic books. With Fox’s new Gotham television series focused on a young Jim Gordon and pre-Batman Gotham City Police Department, it seems as timely as ever to make our list of the top 5 cops and crime comics.
Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark – It’s about time that a television show was made about DC Comics’ most infamous city. It only makes sense that the worst and most corrupt city would have the most interesting stories to tell from its police force right? Gotham Central deals with GCPD and its Major Crimes Unit with only brief appearances from Batman and its more famous criminals. What do you do as the police force of a city that is being policed by a vigilante like the Batman?
Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Oeming – How do you investigate the murder of one of your cities most popular superheroes? Powers sets a murder mystery within a superhero universe and does a brilliant job of focusing on the characters investigating the crime as well as the characters being investigated. The art and colors suit the story-telling style very well and if you’re a fan of Bendis’ work on the Marvel superhero books, you’ll be familiar with his unique style of dialoguing.
Sin City by Frank Miller – Nothing says it better than the description of this book, “bad guys, badder girls…” Frank Miller’s Sin City took the crime fiction genre and pumped it full of so much grit, attitude, and violence that you couldn’t help but take notice. Written and drawn by Miller, every panel and page is infused to his signature look and style. If you need your crime fiction noir and badass, then this is the series for you.
Richard Stark’s Parker by Richard Stark and Darwyn Cooke – Arguably one of the most gorgeous crime fiction graphic novels you could feast your eyes on, these Parker graphic novel adaptations will be a joy for any noir fan. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre Darwyn Cooke’s art is worth the price of admission.
100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso – This book gets a little further away from the standard cops and robbers format but is still an enjoyable high concept comic about revenge, crime, and espionage. Fans of Azzarello and Risso’s work will enjoy this twisted crime story.