Wayne’s Worlds: Smooth Criminals #1 Review

Every once in a while I want to review a new comic, so I found one that I thought you should know about!

It’s great that companies like BOOM! Studios are attempting to attract younger readers. The imprint for this line of comics is BOOM! Box, appropriately enough, and I came across a fun title called Smooth Criminals #1, which I thought I’d share my thoughts about.

One thing that caught my attention immediately is that the story largely centers around two strong female leads, so you know I had to read that!

Smooth Criminals, BOOM! Studios, BOOM! Box, Kurt Lustgarten, Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith, Leisha Riddel, Brittany Peer, Brenda, Mia, hacker, cat burglar, 1990s, 1980s, SMOOTH CRIMINALS #1
Writers: Kurt Lustgarten & Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith
Artist: Leisha Riddel
Colors: Brittany Peer
Published by: BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box
Cover price: $3.99

SOLICITATION: There are certain things Brenda expects to find while hacking: money, secrets, occasional pictures of cats. She is NOT expecting to find a cryogenically frozen master thief from the 60s. Mia is everything Brenda is not—cool, confident, beautiful. And utterly unprepared for the digital age. Despite their differences, the two will need to team up to find out what happened to Mia—and how to pull off the heist of the century. Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarten (Misfit City) team with breakout artist Leisha-Marie Riddel (Goldie Vance) in a story about felonies and friendship.


Shades of gray are always fun in comics characters, and Brenda (also known as Killa-B) makes a living of sorts by using her computer to hack into systems and benefitting from what she finds there.

On the other hand, Mia is the perfect secret agent for her time, which was back in the 1960s. When Brenda accidentally revives Mia, the two strike up an unlikely and enjoyable friendship.

The 1990s is an interesting choice to set a comic book in. These days, it seems like the 80s are hot, hot, hot! I mean, I hear radio stations that claim they are the one to play the most 80s music! But the 90s? Well, not so much. Still, it’s a time when computers and the Internet were on the rise, so it’s perfect for Brenda and probably the best time in her life. But we’ll see.

Granted, there’s not a lot of punching and kicking in this issue, but there is a lot of drama as the two women begin to get to know each other. As often happens, there are things each one can provide for the other, so it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Brenda is a behind-the-scenes kind of computer hacker while Mia is the agile and lithe cat burglar… I can see this working out!

The two women are very different from each other, which makes their conversations fun reads. Still, they are both fishes out of water in some ways, and by working together, they can find out what happened to Mia, make money, and have some fun on the way.

The characterization of both Brenda and Mia are strong, and what could be dull dialogue is instead a page-turner!


With a story that’s somewhat lighthearted and dangerous at the same time, it’s important to have art that fits that kind of storytelling. And that’s what we get in Smooth Criminals.

When there is movement, it’s easy to tell who is doing what. When there is exposition or interaction, the facial expressions easily tell us what the speaker is feeling. And the women are clearly different from each other, which I like!


Again, I often find myself drawn to “all ages” or “young adult” stories because they’re often more clearly understood and have diverse, interesting characters in them. This book delivers that excellently!

Like other great comics, Smooth Criminals doesn’t reveal everything going on right away. But by the end of this debut issue, we see the two “sides” forming with their inevitable clashes not far off. Enjoyable title, so I recommend it, especially for younger women readers!

About Author