Okay. I’m pretty late in the game when it comes to reviewing and heaping praise upon Sex Criminals. I mean, you really can’t do one without the other. It isn’t helping that I’m starting my reviews right in the middle of a story arc, which meant that I had a lot of catching up to do. I have to resist the temptation to write about Sex Criminals as a whole, but honestly? What is there to say that hasn’t been said already? Sex Criminals is funny. Sex Criminals is raunchy. Sex Criminals is smart. Sex Criminals is, above all else, honest.
Good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about #11 and how it differs from the other issues up to this point. Honestly? It’s not the best. But Sex Criminals not at it’s best is kind of like going into the Cheesecake Factory and ordering the Mango Key Lime cheesecake. Sure it’s tasty as hell, but, really, it wasn’t as good as half the other cheesecakes on the menu. (Dammit, now I want their Vanilla Bean Cheesecake.) Part of the reason why this isn’t quite as good as the others is that it steps back from character and plot development some, to introduce us to a new character.
It’s because of this we have four separate threads to keep track of, so it comes off a little less fluid than the other issues. You’ve got our new character, Suzie Jon, and Ms. “Kincaid,” Jon’s Psychiatrist and his lover, and Robert Rainbow and Rachelle (all in various stages of undress and coitus, natch.) It’s because of this that the comic kinds of bounces around all over the place so it’s a little less coherent than the previous issues.
For me the biggest things that drag this book down is how painstakingly New Guy tries to assert that he’s normal, despite being aware that he’s in a comic book that literally revolves around sex, as well as Rainbow and Rachelle’s post coital (kinda) conversation. While the first is necessary to the plot, the second I think would have been better off if more attention could have been paid to it, in a bit more relevant way. Having said that, it is still a good book. I mean, it’s cheesecake. Who’s going to turn down cheesecake? Chip Zdarsky’s artwork is, as always, detailed, nuanced, and filled with more visual humor than you can shake a stick at (save for a few panels.) Matt Fraction’s writing is good. The use of language is natural, believable and flows well. The plot, well, I’ve already talked about the weak points, but don’t let that deter you.
There’s a huge payoff at the end (double entendre intended) that was unexpected, and is certainly makes the book worth getting, since it isn’t something that I was expecting, though to be fair it is a logical extension of some of the events in last issue. It is, however, potentially problematic for me for personal reasons. I can’t really say more about it without giving it away in a huge spoiler, but it is something that is going to be worth talking about regardless of how it’s handled, so it’s something I’ll address when I cover #12.
Or undress it as the case may be.
Story: Matt Fraction Art: Chip Zdarsky
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Image provided a Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review