Criminal: Coward, Lawless, & The Dead and the Dying - Ed Brubaker

Brubaker's Criminal trilogy features distinct stories with crossover characters in an amazing display of crime noir in comics. Coward tells the story of Leo who gets sucked into a big score despite his own rules against it and the fallout from his and other's actions. Tracy Lawless (in the aptly named work) is looking for revenge but is learning that family and vengeance are both tricky subjects, especially when mixed. In The Dead and the Dying,  (not the strongest of the set) we have three stories: first the origin of the bartender who traverses all the tales, then some family history of Lawless, and finally a side tale about Danica and how her life goes terribly wrong. The works are dark and Sean Phillips' sketchy art works well with them. When people say comics are just stuff for kids and superheroes, show them these great works. Then punch them in the face.