Review - Sex Criminals #1

"I had no idea what was happening to me whatsoever."

Finding one's way when it comes to sex is always trying. There's so much unknown about the whole experience that makes it that much more difficult to cope with. What makes it even worse is when you factor in having the ability to stop time while having sex, adding a layer of complexity to an already difficult situation. Stopping time during sex makes Sex Criminal #1 from Image Comics a fascinating book.

The first issue is written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky.

Suzie's a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets John...who has the same gift. The two of them are excited to find the other, knowing that there is someone out there that shares the ability. Naturally, the two of them decide that the best way to celebrate their shared gift is to rob banks; hence the rather appropriate title Sex Criminals.

As a first issue, Sex Criminals #1 offers a lot to take in. Fraction offers the reader a rather in-depth review of Suzie's history when it comes to her ability. It's a pretty interesting approach that's reminiscent of 40 Year Old Virgin, presenting Suzie as a character who's as equally uncomfortable with her power as she is with finding the best way to use it. Fraction makes it more than just a coming of age story so to speak, by giving her motivation to better leverage her ability in robbing banks. It's a fun crime caper bringing together two uniquely "skilled" individuals.

Zdarsky's art is very cartoonish, which works exceptionally well for the story. The time-stopping effects are rendered beautifully, bringing the reader into the stopped time to get a sense of what Suzie feels. There are some scenes that are slightly graphic, but Zdarsky keeps it pretty classy. The panels are illustrated very sharply and cleanly, with very well-defined panels filling the pages. Characters are depicted with a lot of emotion on their faces, really helping the reader to personally commiserate with what Suzie's going for.

Sex Criminals #1 is a really fun and emotional book. It's got a sense of being lost that just about everyone goes through at some point in their lives; the exception in the book is that Suzie goes through a particularly amplified version of the experience. Suzie is very relatable and likable as a main character and while the first issue is light on the overall premise of the book, it does offer a very promising start to the series. This is definitely a book for mature readers and it's going to be a very intense story on multiple levels, but one that's worth reading.

Sex Criminals #1 is in stores now with interiors below.