A new arc kicked off last time in Sex Criminals when Jon and Suzie found someone else with their X-rated brand of superpowers (and a penchant for getting his rocks off to anime). Where do we go from here? Is it good?
Sex Criminals #12 (Image Comics)
Issue #12 spends its time cutting back and forth between a lecture being given by Ana Kincaid (otherwise known as Jazmine St. Cocaine) about what it is to be abnormal both in sex and in life in general (but mostly in sex), and an absolutely batshit insane action sequence resulting from Doug D. Douglas’ twisted Cumworld creations. Suzie starts to wonder why when she orgasms she doesn’t create terrifying vagina tentacle monsters or a dong that doubles as a flashlight—poor Suzie can only stop time itself like the rest of ’em. Some superpower!
This issue ramps up the wackiness to an eleven, counteracted by Dr. Kincaid’s lecture. The series thusfar has been dripping in innuendos balanced with emotional, almost poignant exploration of what relationships are and how difficult they are for everybody, and then this issue sticks you smack-dab in a sex dungeon with a monster made out of dicks. If it sounds insane that’s because it is, but the balancing act is in tact here better than ever—one minute, you’re ready about sexual deviation over the years, and just how outlandish the concept of being sexually ‘abnormal’ really is, when it’s something so complex it’s past the point of even existing on a spectrum. The next minute, you’re wondering why Rach and Rainbow are having a gangbang with a bunch of complete stranger and oh god is that guy’s nipples made out of dicks?
It’s the juxtapotision between the introspective and the obscene, the everyday and the asburd that makes Sex Criminals such a unique experience. Matt Fraction has shown he can attack a subject as nuanced as sex from many different angles, and so far all of them have worked. We can all relate to feelings of inadequacy in a relationship. Oh, and there’s story here too, but admittedly it’s lighter than it has been in the past. We do get an interesting lead on the next issue, and between that and the fallout of this issue, things should be kicking into higher gear next time.
Chip Zdarsky’s artwork continues to kill it, and he gets to show his chops with some of the most surreal, ridiculous concepts Fraction has dreamed up so far. It’s outlandish. It’s insanity. It’s perfect. Really, I’m not sure what else to say about the artwork—it’s good as ever, which is pretty damn good.
Oh and as an aside, if you skip over the letters section of this comic normally, don’t. It’s usually just as funny, if not funnier, than the comic itself.
Is It Good?
Sex Criminals has been so consistent that the real story would be if this issue were anything less than great. Thankfully that isn’t the case, as issue #12 pairs the usual laughter and the feelings we’ve all felt in a relationship with a completely off-the-wall action sequence that isn’t to be missed. It’s the funniest book on shelves today, but also surprisingly layered.