Even though it ended up as a dishonorable mention, I still have faith that Sex Criminals can turn around. The series features strong characters and its concept, while weird, has potential. However, we haven’t explored enough of the “criminal” element and the humor has been… flat. Can this new issue be the one? Is it good?
Sex Criminals #4 (Image Comics)
In the present, the main characters are still cornered by the sex police and find out they may not be all that they seem. But enough about that, back to the past, where we witness them discussing how to rob the bank and testing out their powers! That’s it. That’s all there is here to the story.
Hold your applause. He’ll be here all week, folks.
The story structure of this comic is really wearing thin at this point. Start with the present, flashback to the past for most of the comic, then return to the present for the final pages. Rinse and repeat. It feels tired and is also a big tease, since the most interesting part of the story so far (the actual crime itself) is barely focused on. The story is in a continuous and boring loop of setup with no payoff. That could be excusable if the comic had something else to offer as a way to keep the audience invested, but there really isn’t much here and what is here is becoming tired as well.
Again, we continue with more bonding and characterization for the characters, while also getting a flashback of Suzie taking care of a rapist. While that scene is easily the best part of the story for character writing, the comic needs to move beyond that for just an issue and push the story forward. Characterization is great, but a writer can’t forget that a plot progression is also important and not just jerking around (no pun intended) the audience with the same thing over and over.
And then we get to the comedy aspect of the comic and honestly, there’s just nothing here. Maybe one or two joke attempts (one is almost funny. ALMOST.), but there is nothing else in the comic. It’s not like the last issue where all the jokes fell flat, this time it feels like the comic barely tried to make a joke or if it did, it was so unfunny that it didn’t even register as an attempt at humor. It’s very rare that I see that in any form of fiction (I think the movie Envy is the only other example of that) and it really kills this “comedy”.
Here you go, the only possibly funny thing in the comic.
As for the artwork by Chip Zdarsky, it’s still the usual level of quality that you would expect from him. However, like the last issue (but even more so in this one), there’s nothing visually interesting here to look at. Not even an attempt. If it wasn’t for the brighter color scheme, this would be a very dull looking issue.
Is It Good?
- Suzie Vs. Geoff is a great scene.
- Still characterized well enough
- The humor is missing or completely flat.
- Stuck in a story loop with the tiniest bit of progression.
- The artist is given nothing interesting to draw.
Sex Criminals #4 continues to sink further and further. It has the potential and skill to be more than it is, but with such failed attempts at humor, it’s refusal to progress the story, constant repetition of the same story beats over and over, and not giving the artist anything interesting to draw — there is nothing here. This comic needs something to improve it and preferably, a sense of humor.