The Rinse #4

A comic review article by: Jamil Scalese


The final cycle of The Rinse concludes the biggest money cleaning of Jeff Sinclair's career. With a gang of thugs on his trail, and the IRS sniffing around, Jeff has proven himself one of the smoothest characters in town. This guy does not get flustered, even in the face of mean dudes who want to kill him with scary guns.

The depth of Gary Phillips' crime drama doesn't get much deeper than Jeff executing the Xs and Os of his plan and the antagonists being shit out of luck. Considering just about all the characters operate in shades of gray, it's hard to impressed with Jeff, even if everyone else is. I criticized the otherwise satisfactory third issue for the same problem: the main character is too perfect to care. Once I realized that destiny had granted Sinclair his rightful due, and the enemies would be handled in turn, the point of The Rinse became murky. 

Adventures of a skilled and savvy money launderer is a great start, but Phillips fails to impress beyond the initial hook. The stable of characters are mildly interesting, with the general formula being a archetype with a quirk. The main thug, Maxon is a cruel boss with OCD, Jeff is the strategist who loves baseball, Della is an IRS agent... who is hot. The second and third layers of this story really fail to reveal themselves. I was surprised at the emotion of some characters coming to the surface during the violent final act, but it was a "too little, too late" for the important characters.

Marc Laming's visual never failed to impress me throughout the series. The approach is straightforward, with a strong emphasis on head and shoulder shots and pull backs to establish location, but it works for a fairly clear-cut concept and setting. I really like Laming's strong style, and his work with expression helped pull this story along. The colors by Moore gave a certain new-era crime fiction feel to the work, much in the way some TV cop and forensic dramas are filmed with bluish lens filters.

The book has no serious flaws, and the action and pacing is fine for the concluding chapter. What the story lacks though is a challenge for the Jeff Sinclair, as he seems capable of staying one step ahead of anything that is considered a threat. It's almost annoying he gets the girl in the end, even only if it's because the girl is a government agent failing in her duties to arrest a known criminal. Nice work, Della.



Jamil Scalese is just like you -- an avid comics fan and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, lover of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation.

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