One of the most irreverent, genuinely funny, and at the same time emotional comic books on shelves, Sex Criminals, returns this week after taking four long months off. Is it good?
Sex Criminals #14 (Image Comics)
Last issue took a step back from the main storyline to introduce some new characters and to take a look at asexuality, one of the more underrepresented members of the LGBT* community. This issue is largely about Suzie and her feelings on her and Jon’s relationship, what she wants moving forward, and a confrontation between she and Ana that resulting from a sext getting in the wrong hands.
Then there’s also an insane four page deconstruction of the fourth wall that would be so off putting and jarring in just about every comic book on the planet not named Sex Criminals. But here, it feels right at home with the stacks upon stacks of meta jokes and side references thrown into every issue. It culminates in one of the most ridiculous full page splashes I have ever personally seen, which was worth the price of admission alone.
Speaking of the artwork, Chip Zdarsky kills it once again, giving the comic its signature look in every scene, whether that scene includes a gratuitous closeup of a dong with public hair manscaped to spell the word “hey,” Suzie sending a picture of her lady parts, or even Zdarsky himself thinking longingly about his next coke binge.
The sharp dialogue from Matt Fraction never relents, and remains one of the strongest aspects of this series. It’s also rife with outside-the-box ideas, including small details like like “Previously On…” page resembling the series’ Wikipedia page, or the hyper-sexual emojis used in Suzie and Jon’s text conversation.
Oh, there’s some plot too—I won’t spoil anything, but the arc does progress here albeit a little slowly. It may be too slow for some, but for me the Sex Criminals experience is so much more than simple plot. It’s the emotions, the levity, and oftentimes the gravity of very human relationships set within a fantastic world of orgasm-related magic.
Is It Good?
Funny moments? Check. Biting wit? Check. Expressive, emotive artwork, including requisite hypersexual closeups? Double check. Combine these Sex Criminals standards with an insane meta chapter featuring the creative team themselves and a little bit of plot, and you have a recipe for another issue of this series that shouldn’t be missed.