REVIEW: Sex Criminals #21

Six months have passed since the breakup. We now rejoin our heroes who both totally have their lives together.

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SEX CRIMINALS #21
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Cover Artist: Chip Zdarsky/XXX Variant by Kris Anka
Colorist: Chip Zdarksy
Publisher: Image Comics

What You Need To Know:

Suzie Dickson is just your average woman with the ability to stop time upon orgasming. She meets Jon Johnson, a man who has this same amazing ability, and they fuck a lot while trying to maintain a relationship. They decide to use their ability for good by robbing a few banks to collect the money past due on the mortgage for the library Suzie works for. But after they are found out by a group of people calling themselves the “sex police,” a squad of vigilantes using the same time stopping ability to make sure people never abuse their power, they decide to settle down and play domestically for a while.

Over the next few months Jon enters therapy with a psychiatrist named David, Jon and Suzie attempt to take down the sex police with former porn star turned professor, Ana, and they investigate the true intentions of the head of the sex police, Myrtle Spurge (AKA Kegelface). Ultimately, Jon and Suzie decide that their relationship is at its end. They go their separate ways as Suzie starts a new job out of town and Jon plots his revenge against Kegelface and her goons.

What You’ll Find Out:

The issue picks up six months after the last. Jon has started a new job at Cumworld porn shop. He reflects on the discounts and irony of the situation while headed home to his apartment with his new roommate Polly. He asserts to himself that everything is fine.

Dewey is deep undercover working for BankCorp waiting to spy on Myrtle Spurge every few weeks when she comes to deposit her paycheck. After each transaction, he checks in with Jon and Alix, telling them everything he has found out about the vigilante cop.

Myrtle spends her time figuring out how she can stay in David’s head. She bumps into him, literally, at the grocery store while he is shopping with Ana, and knocks him off balance as planned.

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Jon agrees to meet his roommate at a gallery party later that evening but mixes up the difference between a “dressy” party and a “dress up” party because of the Halloween date. To his surprise, he is not the only one to commit the faux pas, as he walks in to find that Suzie is not only attending the same party, is not only dressed up in a ridiculous costume but that she is dressed in the same Freddie Mercury costume as Jon.

The two spend the night pretending that the situation isn’t weird or awkward, and Suzie reflects on her current relationship with the gallery owner, Geoff. While she admits the sex, and the man himself is unexciting, she considers Geoff’s maturity to be his defining difference from her previous relationship with Jon.

Suzie has moved back in with her mother, who has sobered up only to find her inner strength and sexuality as a woman. Suzie comments on the mirror of a life her mother has found herself in, building her home as an exact replica of the one Suzie grew up in. Finding it utterly bizarre, she asserts everything is fine all things considered. Upon agreeing to watch Ana’s cat, and being forced to come face to face with David again, Suzie finally has the realization that her life is totally fucked.

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What Just Happened?

This issue of Sex Criminals feels incredibly out of place for a series that so often puts its exposition in the middle of the story. Jumping back into our story 6 months after the last arc, there is clearly plenty to catch up on. While it’s not necessarily normal for the series, it can indicate that this background will be incredibly essential to set up events to come.

For both Jon and Suzie, they have convinced themselves that normalcy is what they want. Far from the excitement of robbing banks, or even the excitement of just being together, they have settled into routines that are downright boring. Jon has accepted a job he clearly doesn’t love in exchange for stability, and Suzie has done the same with a relationship. They’ve convinced themselves that “normal” is synonymous with “no conflict,” and have used this attitude to float through their day-to-day.

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What’s also stands out about this issue compared to the rest of the series is a low panel count. While Sex Criminals tends to be very dialogue heavy, this month’s adventure gets bogged down in the expositional narration. The low panel count can be attributed to the lack of gags and jokes that give Sex Criminals its charm. The purposeful use of this to create the idea of boredom and normalcy lets the reader feel what Jon and Suzie feel in their day-to-day. There are no dick jokes when you’re grown-up.

Rating: 8.0/10

Final Thought: A fun look into what our sex havin’, bank robbin’, heroes have been up to as of late, this issue sets up the entirety of the arc. Normalcy and routine are a theme to the issue that will hopefully set up the complete opposite for the next several issues. The realization that life has come to screeching halt will surely drive Jon and Suzie into some insane adventures.


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