At its very core Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s “Sex Criminals” seems to be a deconstruction of mutual attraction. Centering on the overwhelming feeling of finding someone in which you can truly be yourself completely and the sexual lust that goes along with it. Each page is dripping with realism and a hint of superficiality. Suzie and John think they’re in love, but this issue makes the effort to show a relationship built around lust.
Once again “Sex Criminals” takes a step forward by taking a step back. This month we’re treated to John’s sexual history and the first couple days of his relationship with Suzie. It’s fantastically telling, and the core dynamic of revisiting past lovers is brought to life with ease by Zdarsky’s insanely good paneling.
Fraction plants the reader as a fly on the wall to his heroes. We learn intimate details about them with almost every page. We’re there as they learn about one another, and it feels like we experienced a weekend of fucking and sharing as well. By the end of John and Suzie’s first date they don’t want to split. They’re inexplicably drawn to one another for better or worse.
The aftermath of the first date can always be awkward. The feelings of lust can be overpowering and the thought of the other person usually rules your mind. Fraction uses these moments to further cement the relationship in real world dynamics. A fantastic page of texting shows Zdarsky’s inventive use of paneling. Showing each character in a variety of situations as their textual intercourse continues throughout the day.
These are characters that have been fundamentally lost and alone their whole lives. It’s reassuring when they find one another, as all of their troubles seem to be propelled into the distance. With each other nothing else seems to matter. That being said, their wounds propel them into making a choice that will irreparably change their lives forever, and one we’ve been dealing with since the beginning of the series: the bank robbery.
Things hit fever pitch this month. Fraction ensures that the final beat is still sexually related but doesn’t bode well for the future of our characters. It’s steeped in mystery but is slowly revealing itself. I cannot wait to see who these mysterious antagonists are and why they can move through the quiet.
Zdarsky’s work is something to marvel at. He manages to top himself with every page. His paneling is never overwhelming despite having more panels per page than any artist I’ve recently experienced. This actually helps the pacing propel itself to almost breakneck speed. It’s incredible because the addition of panels usually slows things down, but somehow Fraction and Zdarsky have found a golden mean to flex their muscles.
“Sex Criminals” is easily the most inventive and compelling comic on the shelves today. It’s hilarious, emotionally compelling, and undeniably irresistible. It’s the culmination of two masters of the craft weaving a story no one else was brave enough to tell. This is a book that will be remembered for a long time to cum.
Easily my most anticipated book every month. Don’t wait any longer and pick it up ASAP. You wont regret it.
Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls