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Sex Criminals #1 blew my brain. After I read it, I sat wondering how such an amazing coming-of-sexuality story could be written in a comic with the premise “sex stops time”. In this issue, Fraction and Zdarsky give Johnny a similar treatment as he tells Suzie the story of how he came to realize his powers (stopping time via orgasm) and his limitations. His story is as believable as Suzie’s and the issue is filled with tongue in cheek jokes and heart. The issue also gives us our first glimpse of the antagonists of the comic, a woman dressed in white who seems immune to their orgasmic powers.
The issue manages to show us the budding relationship of Johnny and Suzie, introduce us to “Cumworld”, and tantalize us with a villain all in one issue, to great affect. The one slight annoyance I encountered was Suzie’s breaking of the fourth wall, which took me out of the narrative once or twice. It seemed like an unnecessary narrative addition to an issue that was already full of unique story-telling devices. Considering how conscious and critical I am of gender, sex, sexuality, in comics, for that to be my only complains huge. Fraction and Zdarsky are able to deal with the subject matter in a ways that is at times “OMG SEX HAHAH” while still striking mature notes.
One of my favorite parts of the comic is strangely the Q&A. Fans of the comic have sent in some honest and raunchy letters. The “sex tips” like “Dance like nobody’s watching, have sex like your mother isn’t there with you, constantly judging” are the icing on top of the cake.
If you’re into smart, snappy, comics (and you know where the clitoris is) Sex Criminals is definitely for you. The splash of frank sexuality and three dimensional (four when we count time) characters made time stop for me while I was reading it. Also — With the “sex” being told so well in issues one and two, I’m looking forward to seeing more of the “Criminal” aspects in the next issue!