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‘Sex Criminals #26:’ Advance Comic Book Review

It's been about a year and a half since the last release of Sex Criminals. Those who know the series are well aware of the ridiculous and somehow also very heartwarming tale of Jon and Suze, two people who are very flawed but have found love and a shared ability to stop time when they reach sexual climax. This premise, as bizarre as it is, has proven to have major staying power in being both relatable and hilarious. Many people in relationships have dealt with what Jon and Suze have: the fights, breaking up and getting back together, using your sexual time-stopping powers to rob banks, getting chased and attacked by the time-sex police . . . all the usual relationship quirks.

As the series has progressed, the powered couple has been through quite a bit, including attempting to take down the bank, once and for all. With some new allies on their side, Jon and Suze begin their attempt to do the impossible, knowing that this could be the end.

This story, for all of its ridiculous jokes, innuendos, and bad puns, is one of the most important stories to come out of this generation of independent, creator-owned comics. Because everything is controlled by those who make the content, anything is possible. No subject matter is off limits, everything is possible, and there is nothing holding anyone back from doing whatever they feel is right This has led to a huge resurgence in the quality of comics, with Sex Criminals leading the charge in this new resurgence.

While this story, on its face, looks like a silly, perverted romp, it's become something much more substantive. There is a celebration of sexuality, people, and expression of all sorts. People from every walk of life can be seen in this series. People of different sexualities, expressions, and identities, all represented as people worthy of love and respect. This is such a wonderfully important thing to show to the world, especially to marginalized communities that don't often get to see themselves portrayed in positive lights. Despite the story being written and developed by two men, women have equal parts in this story, and the diversity and inclusion in this series is not often seen in mainstream comics.

This is something that I find very important to not only the world as a whole, but for myself. There are many amazing people in my life who don't fit a traditional category, who live lives that aren't always seen in media, or at least not positively. Having them not only be given a voice in this series, but a voice that is positive and accepted, is an incredible thing. It also doesn't hurt that this book is hilarious. There are so many wonderful jokes in this series, most of which are thanks to series co-creator and artist Chip Zdarsky who is a wonderful and hysterical writer and artist that injects humor into nearly every project he works on.

That's not to say co-creator and writer Matt Fraction is any less funny. Fraction's work has been known for years as some of the best that the comics world has to offer, and this series is no different. Much thought has been given to what is, despite three-page Queen jokes, the emergence of a dynamo named Sexual Gary, and the overall premise. In the letters page of this issue, Fraction explains how the series took a bit of turn in the plot, thanks to his own interest in the story and not wanting to put out a series that slowly declined in quality.

While this is the last arc, it feels as familiar as the first, and there will be no sadness for the series' end. Just an appreciation for what it's done and the care taken by those creating it. Fraction and Zdarsky have really built a unique engine for their creative expression, and despite the mostly not-safe-for-public-viewing content, there is a ton of heart in this book. Welcome back, Sex Criminals; we've missed you.


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