Sex Criminals #2: Review

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 8.53.41 PMIf you read Sex Criminals #1 last month you might be asking yourself, “What could be better?” The answer: Sex Criminals #2. This new title from Image (which offers the improbable premises that sex can freeze time) is simply spectacular. And it keeps getting better.

Here’s the official world from Image:

So who’s the boy with the same sexy-time time-stopping gifts as Suzie? Meet John, who until last night thought he could freeze time with his junk. At long last not alone, what kind of horny hijinx will he and Suzie get up to together? What ANY of us would do if having sex stopped the whole world: We’d do crimes.

Here’s the basic recipe for Sex Criminals: 1) start with two parallel coming-of-age stories where a boy and girl Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 8.52.43 PMcome to grips with their sexual identities; 2) add an improbable love-story where this same boy and girl discover that when they orgasm, time stops; 3) and finally, mix in a crime story that seems to involved inter-dimensional players. If you’d told me a year ago that all this shit might actually work when mixed together, I would have laughed at you. And I would’ve been an idiot. Because writer Matt Fraction is delivering one of the best comics I’ve read in a long time. And it feels like he’s just getting started.

While the first issue of this series concerned itself with Suzie’s origin, issue #2 is all about John. And again, Matt Fraction treats his male protagonist with the same care and humor that made Suzie so eminently likable in issue #1. John is funny, complicated, and emotionally engaging — and with issue #2 Fraction explores John’s organic journey towards criminality, which started as a juvenile curiosity (he just wanted to see what he could get away with while time was frozen). Issue #2 is just as delightful as issue #1, and Fraction has laid some promising groundwork the story ahead.

Chip Zdarsky’s art is clean, sharp, and engaging. He illustrates sex and sexual situations in ways that don’t feel voyeuristic, and more importantly in ways that leave the dignity of his characters intact — except in those moments when his goal is to make you laugh, which he executes beautifully. Check-out his panel of John running through an adult bookstore; his riff off Bill Keane’s Family Circus is a joy to read.

Sex Criminals #2 is a home run. And only promises to get better. Go grab this thing today.



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