Saturn City has become a war zone to the highest degree. Violence and destruction are everywhere. The criminals are taking over and battling for control of the city. Regular folks are being pushed aside and the baddies are putting in their cards for a winner take all pot. And, there are elements at work to find out more about the wealthy Simon Cooke who at one time was the vigilante defender of the city. But who has since become retired and is trying to live a life of luxury and freedom from the burden that the mantel of the Armored Saint had left him in. This is just a few of the numerous stakes that are at play in Issue #19 of Sex, writer Joe Casey and (mostly) artist Piotr Kowalski’s complex tapestry of crime, drama, intrigue, and kinky indulgence. #19 begins to show the city’s unraveling as The Alpha Brothers Dolph and Cha Cha make their play for the city crown that had been held by the once powerful Old Man who appears to be slipping. Elements of the slip are becoming evident through work by his henchmen and through the continuing actions of the Alphas who have discovered an interesting tidbit regarding a man known as “The Operator” who was the foremost expert of information in the city. But who was believed to have been raped and killed by The Old Man.
Big things are in action here and that’s just the opening salvo of the story. Actions by a local reporter who is trying to gain information into the secret life of Mr. Cooke is reaching an impasse(?) And Mr. Cooke himself is getting ready to meet with local club owner (and former villain) Annabelle Lagravense to form a partnership of unknown outcome. Things are busy in Saturn City. And as a reader, we have a front row seat to the orgy of merging plotlines that promise to be quite satisfying.
This comic since day one has been way more than it’s straight up full frontal title and it’s straighter up full frontal depictions of sex and violence in the big city. Casey has written a vast and layered tale that has been as entertaining as it has been dirty. And with each page, you can feel the fun that he has had in writing the arcs. The dialogue is confident, organized, and well placed.
Issue #19 continues into that vein of style. But like several other issues in the series, this one plays as a build up before something big drops down. A lot is going on, but most of it is mundane here with not a lot of action. Casey appears to building and he is loading the levels up for an all balls out assault in future issues.
With the art, Piotr Kowalski continues to draw his straight shots (and his nudie ones) with gusto. Adding to the mix this month is artist Ian Macewan who capably handles the material with a strong splashing of color pages provided by Brad Simpson. Though only contributing to just a few pages at the beginning and the end, Kowalski steals the whole show as his buildup of Cooke and Lagravense’s coming meeting. It is clever and gives an emotional feel that hammers in the point that this meeting will be bringing.
Even with these excellent sequences however, this issue doesn’t quite hit up to the superior status that other issues have brought. It is not too terribly bad, but it doesn’t really wow you either. It sort of hits somewhere on the middle of the road in terms of entertainment and educational value, never quite finding itself.
That being said though, If you have been following Sex into this issue, then you know what it is about and you have seen these types of issues come in only to be upped by the one after that. Issue #19 feels exactly like that type of issue and it carries the momentum just enough to continue the series to its continuing glory.
Sex is definitely not a title for everyone. It is pretty bold in its display. But from what I have seen in issue after issue is that Sex is a solid adults only offering for comic book readers who are wanting a little more umph in their monthly readings.
Writer: Joe Casey Artists: Ian Macewan, Piotr Kowalski Colorist: Brad Simpson Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date:1/28/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital