Review: Sex Criminals #1
While Satellite Sam hasn’t been the most consistent series by Matt Fraction for Image, Sex Criminals seems to have made me forget it completely. This is going to be a title to watch.
I guess this goes without saying, but this review will have mature content, given the nature of the issue being reviewed.
Suzanne is not your typical hero. As the name of the book might suggest, she is a thief. But we don’t see much of that in this issue. Fraction spends most of the issue giving us plenty of characterization for Suzanne and why readers will want to come back next month. Even though she gets her powers via orgasm, she’s a surprisingly relatable character. Fraction writes her as a down to Earth girl, so sympathizing and rooting for her is rather easy. Her sex life is relatable, as it’s awkward as hell. Most readers will be able to see parallels in their own sexual lives. Her powers aren’t explained, although I’m sure they will be at one point or another. The narration for Suzanne, where she is viewing her old life, is used well, especially for humor. Fraction isn’t dumb though, and lets certain scenes play out quietly, letting Chip Zdarksy do his work.
Fraction’s penchant for off-brand humor is on display here. He often mixes morbid scenes with one liners that make you laugh, and then question why did you just laugh. While Suzanne’s child life isn’t perfect, the idea to become a thief is a little out of left field. Fraction opens Suzanne up in a detailed way, to the point that the reader has more than a grasp on who she is as a person. I’d like to see some explanation for that in the future, which I’m sure Fraction will discuss. Although the final page makes it seem like Jon is the reason behind it. Fraction also gives Jon a fair amount of character work, even though he only appears for a few pages. He writes him as a suave bastard, and you’d be hell bent to find a reason not to like the guy. Especially given what we have learned about Suzanne in the previous pages. I like the small reveal that Suzanne can break the fourth wall when she has climaxed. That will be an interesting plot device going forward.
Chip Zdarsky’s artwork is borderline cartoonish, but can be lifelike when it needs to be. Every character has a different look to them, making it easy to point out Suzanne in a crowd. Given the extreme nature that Sex gives us each month, I’m surprised that we didn’t see more nudity. Not a complaint, but a funny observation. It is really for the better, as the nudity has ended up becoming dull in Sex, as it’s thrown in for shock value instead of actual plot. The orgasm panels are some of the best looking panels in the book. Much like Chew, Zdarsky has placed quite a few jokes in the side panels. “Reading is Sexy” on the post of a frog reading made me laugh quite a bit.
Sex Criminals is a very strong start to a new series. As the back of the issue says, if you’re over 18, you really should be buying this comic.
Sex Criminals #1 gets 4.5/5.