• Sex Criminals #5

    Sex Criminals #5
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: March 19th, 2014.
    Purchase From Amazon

    The fifth issue of Image Comics’ Sex Criminals, from writer Matt Fraction and artist Chip Zdarsky, picks up where the first four issues left off. As this is the first issue we’ve reviewed on this here corner of the internet, some background information:

    The story follows a girl named Suzie who lost her dad at a young age and saw her mom fall into a bottle. She grew up confused and without any real role models and the first time she masturbated she went into 'the quiet' after she climaxed – it was if time froze around her for a while. She figured she was the only one this happened to and it certainly seemed that way until she reached adult hood and met a guy named Jon at a party. They hit it off, then they fuck, and when she goes 'into the quiet' afterwards, he's there.

    She gets to know his background, how he came to be able to do this too through a porno shop called Cumworld that he obsessed over as a kid and still frequents as an adult. We learn how she wants to save a library that the bank he works at is going to foreclose on. As their relationship develops, they figure they can use this collective ability that they have to freeze time and they set out to rob the bank and save the library. It’s a noble ambition, right? Right. Banks are generally horrible and out to screw over everyone they can while libraries are there to help better the community. When issue #4 ended, there were some others in ‘the quiet’ with them, and these others are basically cops that police this post orgasm time slip and when issue #5 beings, our heroes have been caught.

    While Suzie slips out of the bondage cuffs they used to bind her, we see through flashbacks how the two of them were being watched during the planning phase of their operation. We also learn why John likes to take dumps in the potter plant in his boss’ office and we also learn about John’s history with medication and how and why they got caught the way that they did. John and Suzie are ‘not the only ones.’ Meanwhile, Suzie’s roommate Rachel starts to realize the pair is up to something and she makes a phone call and…. you already know too much.

    While all of this self imposed insanity reigns down on Suzie and John, their relationship develops and there’s a genuine sweetness to that side of the story. At this point the two are more than just fuck buddies, they are obviously starting to really care for one another and because of that, the high jinks that follow and their respective consequences have more impact. Suzie narrates much of this, we see a lot more through her perspective than anyone else’s and Matt Fraction (who wrote tons of far more mainstream material than this for Marvel that I never bothered to read) writes her with such a strong and interesting personality that we can’t help but get behind her. At the same time, John’s background is just as interesting and his sense of humor makes him a really likeable character. This is a mature readers titles so expect liberal doses of sex, plenty of creative profanity and dirty puns in the dialogue and generally just a refreshingly fun aura of kinkiness to all of this but at the same time it never feels dirty just for the sake of being dirty, it all works in the context of the story and the universe in which that story plays out. Through in some really solid artwork from Zdarsky (complete with a lot of digital effects that actually work quite well in bringing us into ‘the quiet’ with the characters) that fleshes out the character nicely and it’s easy to see why this book has been getting as much critical acclaim as it has.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Christian Bates-Hardy's Avatar
      Christian Bates-Hardy -
      You hit the nail on the head when you said that's got "an aura of kinkiness" without being dirty or sleazy. I really enjoy this title, and I like that Image is trying to push against censorship when it comes to sex in mainstream comics.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Yeah, this one really took me by surprise. There's a really cool relationship building between the leads underneath the sexual aspect of the storyline. Bummed that we're going to have to wait until June for the next issue, but looking forward to it regardless.