Two Threads Of The Cruel Summer Arc Intertwine In Criminal #10

Criminal #10 comes almost full circle with the “Cruel Summer” story arc. The mosaic pattern of the arc is broken as we focus on two of the main characters of the story, Ricky and Dan. But we are where we started with Dan Farraday and we learn what brings these two together, laying the groundwork for the remaining two issues of the arc.

Dan Farraday The Stalker

Dan Farraday is a hunter as the narrator put it a while back. He’s good at finding people or at least tries to be when he isn’t distracted. But as discussed previously, his interactions with Jane quickly turned toward creep territory. He associates her with his mother and is becoming obsessive. As it is in this Criminal #10, he spends time just staring at her picture. It’s almost a nightly ritual before he goes to bed to take out her picture. This isn’t healthy behaviour and in my opinion, is the actions of a stalker.

Dan looks at a picture of Jane
Criminal #10; Image Comics 2019

What is a stalker but a hunter of a particular person? The differences between a hunter and stalker become apparent when you start thinking about it and as a result, this issue becomes even more disturbing. That’s what is great about Criminal #10 is that it takes the mundane and makes it unsettling. The spiral of negative thoughts and actions that led Dan Farraday down this path make him a formidable yet pathetic presence. He makes mistakes and frequently gets distracted. Is he really Teeg’s killer or is it someone much closer to home?

Ricky Lawless, The Broken Kid

Ricky Lawless has had a lot of development and focus lately and I love it. He is easily one of the more intriguing characters. He is quickly becoming infatuated with Jane just like Dan and every other guy that she has interacted with. But it’s not in a lustful sense like the others, but more of a shared experience. They killed a man, the man that raped Ricky, he got revenge on her. That heavy raw emotion is bound to create confusing and conflicting feelings for him and now he has to deal with it in Criminal #10.

This inevitably leads to him having a fight with his dad that turns quickly turns into a beating. Teeg has abused Ricky before, but this is pure brutality. Teeg has lost his mind for Jane and so has Ricky. Even when Jane calls out for him to stop, he doesn’t. Both Teeg and Ricky are lost in a war of emotion. Just like Ricky’s brother Tracey, the home that awaits him isn’t the same home that it used to be.

Teeg beats Ricky
Criminal #10; Image Comics 2019

This was all leading up to Ricky and Dan Farraday meeting each other at the end. What this means for the future is fascinating to think about. This arc is all about who killed Teeg and now the stage is set for two very likely candidates in Criminal #10. They are even working together now. What Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Jacob Phillips have with this arc is going to be great. There are so many suspects and motives, but it’s not even done. Only time will tell who really did it I suppose.

Criminal #10 Keeps The Arc Moving Foward

Criminal #10 isn’t as strong as some of the previous issues in the “Cruel Summer” arc but it is quite good. Catching up with Dan Farraday was nice to see, just as it was unsettling at the same time. The setup with Dan and Ricky is intriguing but we still have two issues to go in the arc. Next up is this heist that we keep hearing about but as of now know nothing about.