Comic Book Review: ‘Sex Criminals vol. 1’ by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals, Volume 1: One Weird Trick  (Sex Criminals #1-5)Sex Criminals, Volume 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I reviewed the first issue separately here. Checking out the first volume, now, I’m a little bummed that the mock-Lichtenstein style didn’t come over as much as I’d hoped…but this was more than made up for by the introduction of Jon’s story. While Suzie is quiet and withdrawn, Jon uses his special talent to wreak havoc and become a minor deity as far as the local porn store is concerned. His name for ‘The Quiet’ is taken from here, too…and it’s too wonderful to give away.
We learn more about the dynamics of the sex-based superpower, including what happens when it’s the both of them. The limitations and rules are established, neatly setting up future opportunities to use/abuse it (one of which we do see before the end of the volume).

The final issues in this volume set up the major conflict: sure, they can screw their way out of being caught by the regular police, but what about…the Sex Police?!

Overall it’s a lighthearted, enjoyable story. Suzie escapes being irritatingly introspective by having a filthy mind; we see Jon through her lens, and this covers both his strengths and weaknesses, including a tendency to take craps in his boss’s plant, which thankfully is something she doesn’t write off because she loves him so. Again, Fraction does a good job with the female perspective.

The one thing that bothered me was the repetition of ‘this guy/this f’ing guy’ (sorry, PG blog, although this one really isn’t for the kids!)—there are certain framing devices Fraction is prone to using, and in my opinion they work best when they’re not used as often as they show up here. It’s good to get a picture of Suzie’s interest in Jon, but I don’t think the point that her affection is developing for him, and that he’s got all these little qualities she appreciates, needs to be driven home quite so much.

That said, outside of these framing devices, the actual story doesn’t disappoint. The rapid pacing and thick-lined, colorful art style go together to tell a story that is equal parts sentimental and dirty. The crazy Photoshop effects for The Quiet/*super-hilarious other name* don’t hit the point of eyebleed. It’s nice to see how far comics have come.

View all my reviews


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