I think this is the best Criminal yet. It's the unusual and totally unexpected premise that gives The Last of the Innocent an extra dimension. It's Archie Comics meets noir!
So what would happen if Archie had married Veronica? Brubaker's take is an unhappy marriage, leading to an impeccably planned murder. The viewpoint character is the Archie analog, Riley Richards, now intent on on killing his Veronica-esque wife after discovering that she's having an affair with his high school rival. Throughout the book, he has flashbacks to his time in his small town high school, drawn in a really fabulous take on the Archie house style. In true Brubaker style, there are some very dark undertones to that supposedly innocent time, slowly revealed over the course of the book. I suspect that a true Archie fan would enjoy this more than I did, as long as they were willing to see a side of Riverdale they'd never expected. I'm sure there were far more parallels than my passing knowledge of Archie let me pick out.
Riley is absolutely not a sympathetic character. Nor, I think, was he meant to be. Huge credit to Brubaker for writing a villain protoganist that works. And for not making his ultimate success or failure a forgone conclusion. I wasn't sure until the last page.