Review: Sex Criminals #3 – “BANNED BY ITUNES, SUED BY QUEEN”

 

image courtesy of Image Comics

As usual, issue #3 delivers a beautiful cover (image courtesy of Image Comics)

Dear readers, I said I wasn’t knocked out seeing stars with the last two issues and I’d keep you posted. Well, let I’ll be damned if a bunch of people on the internet think I’m a lady who won’t follow through on her word! I might be seeing some stars, guys. This issue pretty much has me sold on the series. Who knows, maybe I was really in the mood for this issue and it hit me in the right way at the right time (as certain series and certain issues are known to do) but dang am I head over boots for Sex Criminals #3. I’m going to encourage Naz to put this at the top of his read list this week, and this subtly implies that you should probablyyyy go do the same.

So, the title of this post is direct quote from this issue, and was chosen because out of the many stand out, laugh-out-loud moments (and I mean I actually laughed audibly, not in the “lol” way where like, yeah that was pretty amusing good effort there Mr. Fraction) this was the moment that really got me saying, “This issue is fucking great. This creative team is wonderful.” I’m not about to spell out the issue for you, but due to licensing issues they were unable to get lyrics to a choice Queen song… so instead we are left to enjoy a breakdown (or more like a dub-over?) with hilarious rambling that keeps in tune with this series’ overall tone – genuine, fluid, unconventional, and funny.

In this issue we experience more of Jon and Suzie’s blossoming relationship. The writing has their affection growing in a very real way (except for their shared experience of time-freezing orgasms, since as far as I know this is not an aspect of your typical relationship). I find them to be written as a genuinely sweet, newly-infatuated couple who act like real walking, talking twenty-somethings in love.  It’s one of the reasons why I’m really taking an interest in this series. Sometimes I read comics with sweeping romantic story lines on a grand scale and I’m left feeling like, “This is great and emotional and heavy and inspiring on some higher-level.” …When really part of me wants romance to be expressed more in line with how I’ve known relationships to be:  nervous texting, all-weekend hang-outs, laughing at the person you like when they tell you an embarrassing story… stuff like that. Matt Fraction really hit a sweet spot with this issue. Well-written relationships aside, who hasn’t wanted to take a shit in their boss’ office plant? How can you not help but laugh, from pity and second-hand embarrassment, at a sexual experience set to Morrissey’s melancholy crooning (of course, I’m assuming this was licensing again but “Esteban” is our Morrissey figure here, although you just know it’s Moz). Jon gets whacked in the face with a dildo more than once this issue. And most importantly, while so far it seems this series has MORE than covered the “SEX” half of their title, the whole “CRIMINALS” aspect is coming into focus in #3. We finally see why, and how, Jon and Suzie enter into their life of crime together. We also receive a better (although still very brief) glimpse at the mysterious figures previously introduced. We still have no idea who the hell we’re dealing with: are they law-enforcement? Some kinda freaky-deaky other-dimensional kink masters? Maybe they just took a wrong turn at Albuquerque? My last guess is probably out since all the foreshadowing says they are most likely NOT here to play nice, and this story looks like it’s about to take an ugly turn for our love-birds.

But with the next issue will we FINALLY get more of a glimpse into the criminal aspect of this duo and the mysterious otherworldly ass-kickers? I’m itching to find out. Fraction has kept it dangling over our heads with minimal reveal so far. This kind of foreplay is killing me. This issue got me all fired up and then left the room with just a kiss goodbye. But it’s hard to stay agitated, the build-up is part of the fun and it’s doing a good job of keeping the tension going. And so I will anxiously wait, and then I’ll be grabbing Sex Criminals #4 as soon as it hits shelves December 11th.

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