We’re just polarizing all the reviews this week from kids comics to a book about a gun-toting female who orgasms her super powers… yep. For being such a ludicrous premise, Sex Criminals #1 is actually a very down to earth book.
Matt Fraction crafts a debut issue that’s action adventure blended with coming of age drama. While that could have been a recipe for blandness, Fraction manages to give the audience a fair amount of humor throughout making it a read that is as engaging as his Hawkeye run. Readers are dropped in an intimate encounter between two characters, Suzanne and Jonathan. Meanwhile a voice from an unknown location is telling them to give themselves up. Aparently nothing stops these two as they still manage to climax together and then the book gets weird. While sex is often described as a euphoric feeling that makes time stand still, for Suzanne it’s not just a euphemism, it’s fact. As we learn from her flashback her big O’s stop time and people. Where this could have been turned her into one heck of a caped crusader, instead she decides to do quite the opposite. In a nutshell that’s what makes Sex Criminals such a great crime story, it mixes tactical caper with relatable characterization. The best parts of the book are diving into what makes her character tick, including seeing the first time she awkwardly discovered her powers in the tub.
Chip Zdarsky’s art buttresses the wackiness of the narrative with sensible cuteness to the characters and the superpower of freezing time. The art is incredibly pleasing to the eye throughout the story but amps up the book’s level of lavish when they need to with effects that feel far from cheap. Indeed his style is reminiscent of the beautiful cartoony work of Bryan Lee O’Malley. Sex Criminals is easily a book that could have bordered the line between art and porn but Zdarsky does an excellent job of dialing that back without sacrificing Fraction’s story.
Sex Criminals #1 a great combination of the extraordinary and the ordinary that looks as sensual, cute, and dark as it’s suppose to feel.