Review: Sex #17

Sex has been writer Joe Casey and artist Piotr Kowalski’s little voyeuristic romp into the world of the the good guys versus the bad guys and their more, um, private details that you don’t see in other day to day comics.  On the surface, Sex may appear like some simple dirty book that likes to portray people naked and engaged in slippery embrace.  But through the layers of flesh, one begins to see a real ultra-complex tale asking what it means to be a person and what it means to be a hero, whether in bed or in the streets.  Sex has delivered on many levels.  A satisfying read that pulls you in and makes you want more.  Now that’s some good Sex. Think kind of a mixture of Batman and Sin City with lots more color and more penis shots.  But as I said earlier, Sex is way more than its shock value title and its mighty phallic depictions.  Even so, recent renderings have been a little bit flat (or flaccid I probably need to say). But here in Issue #17, I believe that the lull of the last couple of issues have been erased and the ship has again been righted.  The busyness of the last two issues has been eased in favor of a more standard focus primarily on just one character, Kennan Wade, the dishwasher who once was the sidekick to one Armored Saint, the once protector of Saturn City who had a change of heart and dropped out of crime fighting to pursue a career of public life as well as exploring his sexual side.  After all, it’s hard to be dating and getting your groove on when you are busting up baddies all the time.   As for Kennan, he has never lost his zeal to save the city and he has a vested interest as he is a product of those mean city streets in which he is working.  Keenan has spent the last several issues working to infiltrate himself into The Breaks street gang; one of Saturn City’s big criminal players led by one hard core bad ass by the name of Masai.  In this issue, we get to see a little more of Masai than we would probably want to see.  But we also get to see more of Kennan in action and some back story regarding Kennan and his relationship to the mysterious Quinn who  was The Armored Saint’s tech specialist and advisor, but who is now deceased.  It would appear that Quinn had a real reason for selecting the young Kennan into service with the Saint that may prove to be more powerful than her recruitment of the Saint himself rendered to the city.

Sex-#17-10.29.14Casey pulls the stops in this issue and writes a solid yarn from beginning to end.  He does book end some outside action, but it is not overdone at all and it fits in nicely as it helps to remind us of other things that have been happening.  Recent actions in this title had us bouncing around all over the place.  Issue #17 keeps things firm and strong and is representing about as solid as Masai does with his gang.

There is a special guest artist in Dan McDaid in this Issue with Piotr Kowalski hitting the sequence framing.  Even with this, things don’t miss a beat. Mcdaid follows the Sex formula and does well portraying the underside of Saturn City with good sweaty gusto.  The streets are nasty and the people nastier, but McDaid hits them with a smooth touch of grit that allows for a strong surround for Casey’s writing.  We get no penis close ups here.  But, I for one am not complaining.  Everything works for Issue #17 that I can see.

Sex has really been one of those surprise titles for me that I have found myself enjoying even though every instinct has told me not to.  I can’t help it though.  Casey has drawn me in with a good story and Kowalski (minus the penis close ups) has put a more colorful approach to a dark crime filled city.  It has been a stroke that has had me from the first issue I read. Here is to hoping that this issue will be the start of some good things to come (no pun intended…Well, maybe a little bit of pun intended).

Score: 4/5

Writer: Joe Casey Artist: Piotr Kowalski Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 10/28/14 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital