With the finish line in sight, Sex Criminals returns with the second part of their last arc. Jon and Suze have gotten back together, started planning to finish what they started with BankCorp, and working out what the future of their relationship holds. While our time-stopping couple don’t get the full spotlight in this issue, they are at the center of this series, and they have a pretty big impact on its direction.
Issue #27 focuses mostly on BankCorp’s Kuber Badal who has taken on the main antagonist role for our merry band of sexual dynamos. As the leader and face of BankCorp, Badal’s motivations and actions have spurred on most of the actions Jon, Suze, Dr. Kincaid, and the rest of the crew. While Badal isn’t featured heavily in the issue, his shadow looms large over what occurs. Despite it being the second issue of this final arc, this seems to be setting the table for everything to come.
This is a series known for its humor, and while this is a bit more of a serious issue, the humor is still all there. With a combined effort from writer/co-creator Matt Fraction and artist/co-creator Chip Zdarsky, this is one of the funniest series in comics at the moment. There’s just something about the reckless abandon with which this team uses humor, combining cringe-worthy jokes with flat-out comedy gold. It’s typically more often the former than the later, but their place in this series is well established, and there’s a beauty to the ridiculousness that these two are able to create.
Fraction’s writing is some of the best in the industry. He’s funny, poignant, able to equally pull off serious scenes and some of the silliest things I’ve every read – sometimes in the same page. With his focus on this series renewed after a self-admitted crisis of direction, it’s good to see the Fraction we’ve come to know, love, and roll our eyes at back once again.
Zdarsky, on the other hand, is a beautiful disaster of comedy and artwork, and that’s meant as a compliment. His style has always been gorgeous, creating the perfect complement to the plotting and story. There are plenty of visual gags, beautiful scenery, and some very robust anatomy work in this series, and in this issue specifically. It’s beautiful to see it.
As I spoke about in my review of Issue #27, this oddball story is important not only because it shows the wide spectrum of what comics are capable of, but because of what this story means to others. Sex Criminals has an incredible following, and so many fans have used this series as a way to help themselves figure out their own sexuality, identity, and interests. Despite the zaniness of the series, its ability to resonate with so many is genuinely impressive. Reading the letters page of this issue reinforces that point, with many readers reaching out to Fraction and Zdarsky to talk about what they’re going through, what they’ve done, and what this series has helped them to accomplish. Being able to bring such heartfelt joy to so many is something very admirable, and it’s an wonderful thing to see from a book that is never seems to take itself seriously.
This is a series that needs to be seen and read to be fully understood, especially since the content is very much not safe for public reading (for the most part). Without being able to spill too many of the major details, Sex Criminals is a unique series that is equal parts earnest and flippant, with each attitude benefiting both the series as a whole and the readership.
Creative Team: Matt Fraction (writer) Chip Zdarsky (artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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