In this dual review two writers (in this case James and Nick) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from Image Comics: The best part of a new relationship is the first three weeks, right? The rush of the new, the gravitational pull of the sudden other-ness in your life, the almost-illicit charge of nothing else mattering...and then it's time to pay the bills. Well, the honeymoon is over for the SEX CRIMINALS. Can Jon and Suzie survive Jon and Suzie?
When Matt Faction and Chip Zdarsky aren't working on their other comic endeavors, they have been busily at work on the slightly perverted, yet always engaging, as well as laugh out loud funny tale of Suzie and Jon, the Sex Criminals. Through the use of their sexual powers, the two can stop time and enter into "The Quiet", a place where they pretty much can do anything. Along the way, they have gotten in little misadventures and have discussed each other's rather interesting love lives.
When Jon becomes aware that Suzie's library is about to shut down due to financial trouble, he gets the idea that they should rob the bank of his employ, and in turn, save Suzie's library. Sounds good, right?
Well things don't go as planned as the couple discovers that they are not alone in "The Quiet". There are others, a sex police if you will, that try to regulate just the type of shenanigans that Jon and Suzie are indulging in. They have captured our duo. What to do.
Like all the issues to date, #5 moves around a lot explaining various details and becoming stories of their own within this tale. In this issue, we uncover Suzie's Houdini like escape ability and discover a dark truth regarding Jon. Like everything else in this story however, Faction has written and Zdarsky has drawn it to complete and maximized entertainment value perfection.
When reading Sex Criminals, I just know that these guys are having an absolutely great time. Fun is abound and that fun is everywhere within the story. I think it is exactly that fun that makes this comic such a favorite of critics. It is nice to leave the intensity and seriousness of most comics and escape to a world of fun indulgence like we have here. The fun is mounting. You should hop in line and get some too.
Sex Criminals #5 wraps up the first arc of the story Fraction and Zdarsky have set out to tell, and I’ve gotta say, each issue continues to astonish. This book is so tenderly realized, and has such a rabid fanbase of “brimpers” (myself admittedly included), that it amazes me every month when Fraction and Zdarsky continue to strive boldly forward, instead of crumbling under its own weight.
In this issue, we find out more about the personal lives of the other people in this world who can gain access to The Quiet, we get the culturally-indelible line “She’s got kegelface!”, and of course, more hidden visual gags from Zdarsky than you can shake a stick at (“Ceci n’est pas un pétrin,” anyone?). What’s really going to be interesting going forward is how the discoveries in this issue change the comic on a fundamental level. It started out as this fun, incredibly intimate portrait of two people falling in love and also having a lot of healthy sexual adventures. Now, we’ve branched out to all these other people that we may or may not follow-up with. Who’s the trucker sex policeman? Who’s the Gimp? So many questions!
One other thing I’ll say is that I always hear people of the Fraction generation of writers and even slightly before then talk about how they love letter columns, and that that love was fostered in large part by Grant Morrison and The Invisibles team. I never really understood it; the closest I got was mildly enjoying the letters columns written in character by Deadpool in the early 2000s, around the Cable & Deadpool era. This book’s letter column is making me love the idea of a letters column again, and that is quite the achievement.
Writer: Matt Fraction Artist: Chad Zdarsky Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 3/19/14