‘Sex Criminals: Volume 5’ - Trade Paperback Review

One of the funniest books in comics has taken on a more serious term as of late, and with this volume of the story, that rings very true. In a series that is full of sex jokes, pop culture references, and more sex jokes, the last volume has begun its descent into a more serious tone.  While this collection has some of the trademark silliness Sex Criminals is known for, a lot is happening for Jon, Suzie, and the rest of the team.

We last left our time-stopping sexual deviants, they had decided to take some time apart, leaving our power couple with no power and an intense lack of coupling. This development could have spelled doom for a series so focused on our main characters, but as this book has progressed, it's also expanded, allowing the series to become more diverse and less focused just on Jon and Suzie.

For all of its seriousness, this book is still one of the best creator-owned titles on the market, and number one in the “time travel sex romp comedy with some seriousness” category. It's a title full of heart, a gripping plot, and a surprising amount of beautiful storytelling for a book that has a lot of genitals in it. A lot of genitals.

While many titles are defined by the writer/artist dynamic, most are no match for the coordinated efforts of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. Fraction and Zdarsky feel like a linked mind in this group, weaving a fantastic web of alternate, sex-based universes, long-running (but hilarious) jokes, and some majorly serious topics involving relationships, people, and relationships with people.

This volume also feels like it's gearing up to come to a close in the near future. That's pure speculation, but it's also a sad feeling, as the climax (Sorry.) of this book means we don't get any more of it. But seeing how Fraction and Zdarsky build to the moment is a fantastic thing to see.

It was a bit surprising to see how the drama of the book has unfolded, but a bit less comedy is not a bad thing. This is still a wonderful book, and while it might be enough to throw some fans off, I'm in it for the long haul, and many readers should be, as well. The silly sex book has evolved, and now it's become something much, much more.


Creative Team: Matt Fraction (writer), Chip Zdarsky (artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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