Magdalene Visaggio, Kasia Witerscheim, and Harry Saxon get pretty damn personal in Sex Death Revolution #3 as our protagonist, Esperanza continues to use magic, rituals, and just talking to people to figure out how her memories are being screwed up with, especially a big one about her meeting her ex, Shannon. After last issue’s focus on our bastion of white male toxicity, Marcus, this one narrows in on how Esperanza is feeling and is pain and vulnerability in a single slice of comic book.
Sex Death Revolution #3 deals with some pretty weighty topics, including the conflict and anxiety of transitioning (Which Visaggio explored in an excellent 2018 Twitter thread) and the overall nature of gaslighting. It’s emotional powerful stuff that is conveyed through impressive character acting by Witerscheim and ever changing colors from Saxon that depend on what state in the ritual that Esperanza, Shannon, and later Annie are at. They use the famous “No, I am your father.” sequence from Empire Strikes Back as a pop cultural metaphor for gaslighting and maybe the amazing life you used to live and how people feel about you is all wrong.
It’s scary and leads to plenty of awkward questions as Esperanza and Shannon go door to door basically and try to figure out where Esperanza “changed” for the first half of Sex Death Revolution #3. Some of the responses are downright heartbreaking (Especially when Esperanza is dead named.), and it makes you realize how little people follow or care about your own personal journey, your character arc. Thank goodness for people like Shannon that chase you through the park and remind you of better times even though the darkness still lingers because this is a middle chapter.
Sex Death Revolution #3 is proof that it’s sometimes okay to spend a chapter of a comic book miniseries away from plot twists and that nonsense and really hone in on your protagonist. Openly asking people how they feel about you is a spicy kind of taboo, but it’s something that Esperanza gets to do in this issue with not the best results. And this is mirrored in Kasia Witerscheim’s art as she goes from grid layouts to something more fluid when Esperanza does a ritual with Annie before the utterly screwed up ending. And along the way, she and Magdalene Visaggio take potshots at the kind of arrogant, monologuing liberal arts major (I was one, myself, oops.) that is Marcus, and what he is trying to make Esperanza remembered even though she is trying to change.
Sex Death Revolution #3 is an empathy inducing read about dysphoria and gaslighting through the lens of magic as Magdalene Visaggio, Kasia Witerscheim, and the trippy when he needs to be, silent grey at other times Harry Saxon craft a fantastic personal narrative in the midst of an apocalyptic occult thriller.
Story: Magdalene Visaggio Art: Kasia Witerscheim
Colors: Harry Saxon Letters: Zakk Saam
Story: 7.9 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review