• Sex Criminals #20



    Sex Criminals #20
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: August 2nd, 2017.
    Written by: Matt Fraction
    Illustrated by: Chip Zdarsky
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    The Wide Wiener mobile has crashed. Jon finally finds Suzie and decides they should talk. She agrees, but neither of them wants to do it. Things are awkward; there is palpable tension in these panels! Not too far away, Jasmine and her new shrink boyfriend are going at it. He can’t make her cum and finally they give up. She knows what it’s about though – this is for him, he needs to make her climax to satisfy his own ego because of her porn star past. She doesn’t want to be needed, she tells him it’s gross. She wants to be wanted. Big difference. And she’s right. Even if Dave doesn’t want to admit it, he knows she’s right and it bothers him – but can he change it?

    Suzie and Jon sit across from one another, coffee on the table, memories of one another and what they once had flipping through their minds, but neither of them is really saying anything. Suzie grabs him, kisses him, and they get undressed. He tells her this is a bad idea, she agrees, and continues to be the aggressor. They do it ‘one final time, one for the road’ and Jon almost ruins it by trying to apologize to her. She stops him, they finish quickly and once again time stands still for them.

    Suzie packs her things, while Jon makes his way into the Badalcorp Building. He has a plan. And then Suzie winds up meeting up with Rachel again.

    This issue is sad. It’s genuinely sad. Because Fraction did such a great job of making us care about the characters in the earlier issues, this twentieth chapter has real dramatic impact. It stops short of becoming a soap opera, there’s still the quirky perverse humor here that makes the book what it is, but the real heart of this particular installment is the crumbling of what our two main antagonists once had and clearly no longer do. At least for the time being. And on top of that, there’s all that Rachel is going through that just adds another layer of, yes, sadness to the storyline. The realistic kind, the kind that is all too common in life.

    This issue is a bit of a gut punch, frankly. But it’s really, really well done. It’s a great example of just how important character development is to an ongoing series like this, and how it matters so much more than action or humor or explicit kinky sex – all important elements in this book, of course, but when you don’t care about the characters it’s a throwaway. This isn’t a throwaway. And Zdarsky’s artwork, sometimes cartoonish in its own interesting way, does a remarkable job of communicating the emotion and the pathos inherent in what Jon and Suzie are going through as well as both the humor and the harsh reality of Jasmine’s situation with Dave.

    This isn’t the funniest issue or the most shocking issue of the series, not by a long shot, but it just might be the most effective and engaging chapter of Sex Criminals so far.
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