The past couple issues of Sex Criminals have been good…but in some ways, just sort of there. Still better than most comedic books on shelves today, but something about their pacing or focus hadn’t quite reached the level of damn near perfection this series has been known for.
After yet another extended wait between issues (this one was actually dedicated to “Deadlines. R.I.P. Deadlines”), issue #15 is here. Is it good?
Sex Criminals #15 (Image Comics)
It wasn’t that I disliked the last couple of issues—they had the trademark humor, but the unique story and surprising poignancy seemed to have taken a back seat, and dick jokes for the sake of dick jokes are…well, dick jokes. This issue though, thankfully feels in a lot of ways like a return to form. It’s just as funny as ever, but the plot is seriously picking up and in general there’s just a lot more to sink your teeth into than we’ve gotten as of late.
Mrytle absconds from Jon’s psychiatrist’s office with his files, leading to panic for our heroes. But that might not even be the most worrisome thing that happened to Jon this issue—he prematurely blurted out the “L” word! Sex Criminals blends outrageous plot points with the everyday insecurities we all feel in our relationships beautifully, and this issue is no different.
This series has to be one of the most meta comics I’ve ever read, an aspect that actually intensifies in this issue. There’s one point where instead of showing a crucial interaction between some characters (I don’t want to spoil anything), we’re greeted by four black panels that say something to the effect of “Imagine some crucial conversations taking place here so we can get to the good stuff.” It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the kind of liberties Criminals takes is always refreshing in my mind—you’re sure as hell not going to see this kind of irreverence in your standard superhero comic.
A wild Seinfeld reference appears!
Chip Zdarsky’s artwork is on point as always, and serves as a perfect backdrop to the humor. You’re always rewarded for soaking in the backgrounds in his panels with countless gags and puns (and dicks. Lots and lots of dicks). There wasn’t a lot in the way of The Quiet this issue, which usually brings some of the more unique panels in the series, but regardless the artwork is solid in issue #15 as always.
Is It Good?
It feels like an exaggeration to say this is a return to form, as this series has never been bad. But this issue maintains the off-the-wall humor of the previous few issues while getting the plot moving in a direction that is engaging and exciting. I only hope we don’t have to wait several months for the next installment.