Total Nerd The Best Crime Comics to Ever Hit the Shelves  

Rhune Kincaid
866 votes 219 voters 42.3k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite comic books focusing on crime, criminals, and the underworld

A lot of us love crime noir comics, but which titles have the right to be considered the best? Comic books are almost exclusively associated with the superheroes, but this list of the best crime comics proves what comic aficionados have always known: just as many great stories have been told in other styles. Whether the general public knows it or not, before superheroes flew to supremacy, crime comics were just as (if not more) popular.

In fact, many of the biggest names working on today's superhero comics got their start on crime comic books. So early works by many of the heaviest hitters in contemporary comics can be found on this list of the best crime comics.

This crime comics list tends towards modern graphic novels, not the many, many pulpy criminal comics that were popular decades ago, after the Golden Age of superheroes. Still, there's at least one comic here that's been patrolling dark alleyways for the better part of a century.
1 65 VOTES

A Dame to Kill For

A Dame to Kill For is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Crime Comics to Ever Hit the Shelves
Photo: via Twitter

The femme fatale trope is embodied by Ava Lord as she manipulates a string of men to their dooms in her plot to murder her wealthy husband. It's also a great excuse for a team-up between Marv (the star of The Hard Goodbye) and Dwight (the star of The Big, Fat Kill) who just can't let a woman suffer (even if she's evil... and lying about her suffering in the first place).

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

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2 73 VOTES

100 Bullets

100 Bullets is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Crime Comics to Ever Hit the Shelves
Photo: Vertigo Comics
Crime-stud Brian Azzarello's calling card starts out as a series of disconnected stories where a shadowy agent offers downtrodden individuals a choice. He gives them a murder kit (which includes 100 bullets) and a sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card arrangement if they want to seek revenge on their enemies. Over the course of its award-winning 100-issue run, the plot evolves into something much grander as links behind all of the murders are slowly revealed.
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3 75 VOTES

Criminal, Volume 1

Criminal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Crime Comics to Ever Hit the Shelves
Photo: Freebase/Fair use
The first of Ed Brubaker's Criminal stories is "Coward," following the twisting tale of a quirky, retired heist planner who is pulled back into the life for one last score (classic). The second, "Lawless," is about a disgraced soldier who infiltrates a heist crew to avenge his murdered brother (double classic). The series embraces and innovates upon the tropes of typical noir fair.

Created By: Ed Brubaker

Publisher: Marvel Comics, Icon Comics

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4 43 VOTES

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter

Richard Stark's Parker: Th... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Crime Comics to Ever Hit the Shelves
Photo: via Twitter
This tale has been told twice in film (1967's Point Blank and 1999's Payback) and now the classic crime novel character, Parker, it was the first to get the comic book treatment from the always-classy Darwyn Cooke. The Hunter follows Parker on a vendetta against his former mates; a heist crew that screwed him over. Cooke has gone on to adapt several more of the original novels and will soon be drawing the series to a close.
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