Sex Criminals #1 Review

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DISCLAIMER: This comic is not for children due to sexual content. It is definitely a mature readers comic but is totally worth your time =)

I am a huge fan of superhero comics but I am on a never ending crusade to prove that comics can be more than big muscular men and women punching each other. No seriously, some people really believe that’s all comics are. So when I get my hands on a comic like Sex Criminals I get even more material for my cause.

I’m going to say right off the bat that Sex Criminals is the most interesting new series since Saga debuted last year but not in the same way. Saga was interesting because of how sci-fi it was and because it rivals the initial new 52 Batwoman books in terms of artistic beauty. Sex Criminals is refreshing. It is interesting because of the humor, raunchiness and complete realism about what sex is (despite the weirdness that soon follows).

sex criminals back cover

The book opens up with a man and woman having sex in a bathroom. They are being yelled at by someone while they’re doing this. Before we learn anymore about what’s going on our narrator enters. Her name is Suzy and she is the main character of this story. Suzy explains to us that her father was murdered in 1997 after a stock market crash. Someone took their anger out on her dad while he was at work at a bank. We see Suzy’s life after that, explained by Suzy herself. She tells us that she was the first kid in her school to lose their dad and that her mom and her did not talk much after that. Suzy is then shown taking a bath and it is here that she has her first orgasm. Yes, this is that kind of story.

But there’s a little something different about her orgasms. Time seems to stop…LITERALLY when this happens. She’s confused and has a lot of questions. Her mother is no use due to her depression and she’s too nervous to ask someone at school. She eventually asks the so called “school slut” about what she felt. She tells her about all kinds of positions but not about what she experienced. We jump forward again to Suzi meeting a man at a party she’s throwing to save a library she loves dearly. At this party she meets Jon. They hit it off immediately because of his charm and love for Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov, her favorite book. This leads them to her bedroom and they have sex. Here’s where things get interesting, when they both climax time stops for both of them and they get completely freaked out. Both of them thought this moment was their “quiet time” but it appears that they can stop time when they climax. The books ends with them coming out of a bathroom with guns. It appears they are committing a robbery of some kind.

sex-criminals

Sex Criminals is a wonderful read. It is really different and most importantly it’s funny. The whole concept is pretty funny. Time and space stops when they reach orgasm??? How can you not get into something this zany. It’s clear that because they are able to do this, that they are going to attempt to commit crimes hence the title. Fraction has made Suzy a very lovable character. Although there is a little sci fi tinge to this story, her reaction to the first time she has sexual feelings is perfect. She’s scared and confused. At one point she thinks something is wrong with her. Any teenager can relate to the feelings she has at this point of life. We don’t learn much about Jon but we can tell that he may not be good for Suzi due to the ending of the issue. He’s charming but might also be dangerous.

My problem with this book is not the concept but that it may be too adult to get huge sales. Not everything can be Saga unfortunately. Because of this, I don’t know if it will last long. Sure a series length is not what’s most important but it would be nice to see what Matt Fraction can do with this idea. As a side note I’d also like to mention that he has joined an evergrowing list of known writers now doing a book for Image. Jonathan Hickman is writing East of West, Ed Brubaker is writing Fatale, Brian K. Vaughn is writing Saga. Image is getting big and quick. It’s almost as if we have the Democrats and Republicans a third party shows up and starts filling up Congress. Image is shaking up the status quo right now and the readers are the beneficiary of this.

I gave this book an 8.5 because it is a first issue. I don’t think Fraction did a good job at introducing Jon. Hopefully issue two gives us a little more about him.  I like first issues to give us a proper introduction to the main characters. I don’t feel I know him well enough. I know more about Suzi’s mom than him and he obviously has a large part in this story. I gave it an 8.5 as well because I wasn’t crazy about the art. I don’t think it was anything that great. Pretty typical stuff to me.