REVIEW: Sex Criminals #24

SEX CRIMINALS #24/ Writer: Matt Fraction / Artist: Chip Zdarsky / Colourist: Becka Kinzie / Publisher: Image Comics/ May 02, 2018

Sex Criminals #24 leaves me feeling like I may eventually run out of ways to say how good Sex Criminals is. I feel like a broken record already, but what else am I supposed to do?! Sex Criminals is really good. It’s ridiculously funny, sweet, filthy and  dips into bittersweet moments that capture depression so perfectly it actually… makes me depressed. In a good way?

Having said that- good lord, Sex Criminals #24 feels like an upper in many ways. I guess I am a prophet, because after I made a big thing of how miserable everyone was in the last issue, the creative team opens Sex Criminals #24 with a simple recap page; it just says: “Everyone is Miserable.” Last issue, I bemoaned how the sci-fi-sex-comedy-weirdness fell to the background, but now we’re moving out of the mire and back into the happier tone of earlier issues. This issue seemingly calls me out, and I’m not going to lie, I am a little concerned I will end up the butt of a Chip Zdarksy burn. Those things sting, man. I mean, I’m sure it’s nothing to do with me but still it’s weird right?!

So, yeah, Sex Criminals #24 sees everyone’s slowly getting back on their feet. Their epiphanies are now manifesting. The clouds are parting and things might just be back on track. We may have the Criminal and the Sex once more. The issue opens with quite possibly the sweetest conversation between two men. They are pretty much perfect for each other and there is a really cute fourth wall pun that I want to spoil… but won’t.

It’s a dozy though.

Sex Criminals #24 is about Jon trying to make headway against the sex police organization, filled with assholes, that have ruined his and Suzie’s lives The organization is the Brotherhood to his and Suzie’s X-men if you will. The issue is filled with irony, especially how all Jon’s progress only leads him back to square one. Suzie, on the other hand, is trying to be normal, but may have stumbled onto something that- whilst more mundane than using your pelvic floor to stop time- is a possible way in to the man at the head of it all. Possibly.

If my past recommendations on the art and writing haven’t persuaded you by now, I don’t know what will. However, there’s a roller disco scene so viscerally real I smell popcorn, hear arcade games and could feel my wrists cramping up again. Chip Zdarksy is so good at capturing how weird mundane stuff can be, especially if you look at it for too long. His art is beginning to remind me a lot of  Darick Robertson’s smart little artistic asides in the background of various city scenes from Transmetropolitan. Sex Criminals is like a less mind-fucky version of the Invisibles. Although that book had a more magical kind of bend, the abandoned filthiness is very similar of what we get in Sex Criminals #24. And despite it’s often uncomfortably real depiction of depression, the series is also… comforting? Probably because on top of everything else, it’s still one of the funniest books around.

So just… just read Sex Criminals #24. If you’ve never read it before, then start at Sex Criminals #1. Trust me. If you can, try and make sure to read it on the bus with an elderly couple sitting in the seat behind you. And get that Elsa Charretier NSFW cover, that will really get the oldies excited. Top tip from me.

Verdict: 5 Out Of 5

I’m a thirty something British nerd-mum and wannabe author, fueled by tea, poor decision making and a need to be distracted. Cursed to watch favourite characters die and ships sink. Send help.

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