Sex Criminals: Volume One

Monday, April 28, 2014


Sex Criminals: Volume One
Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky, 2014

Electronic copy provided by NetGalley for review

Premise: Susie and Jon have something unusual in common. When they orgasm, time stops. No, literally. Once they find each other, what else would they do with such a talent... Collects Sex Criminals #1-5

I had heard only good things about this title, so I jumped at the chance to read the trade. I did really enjoy it, but I think it starts much stronger than it ends.

The story starts in medias res, then flashes back and forth to fill in all the background. Susie's origin story in the first issue was probably my favorite part. I'll agree with other commentators here, and say that for a book written by two guys, it does a fantastic job with a girl's sexual awakening. Susie's confusion, angst, loneliness and curiosity all felt very real and plausible.

I have less context for the plausibility of Jon's story in issue two, but it's interesting and sad.

As the book goes on, and we eventually get more and more of the present and less of the past, it feels like the theme loses focus a little. It's still interesting, but it becomes less an intriguing metaphor for sex and intimacy and more a story about people with weird powers. Still good, but not as good.

I really enjoyed the art. Both poses and body types are at least semi-realistic! I love the issue covers, too, and I’m glad they were included. They're evocative, simple, vibrant and just gorgeous.

I'm curious to know where Fraction and Zdarsky are planning to go with this, or if they had a plan beyond this point. The volume ends, not with the end of the story, but at a possible end. And it's satisfying, mostly.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

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