Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sex Criminals Volume 2 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

Sex Criminals Volume Two, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky, is, as the title would suggest, the second collected volume of Sex Criminals comics in the ongoing series. It contains issues #6–10 and the subtitle is "Two Worlds, One Cop" which is terrible if you get the reference (and I have to wonder how broad the generation that does get it is). You can read my review of Volume One ("One Weird Trick") here.
The second storyline from the Eisner-award winning SEX CRIMINALS finds the honeymoon to be over for Jon and Suzie. Once the thrill of new lust fades, where do you go? Come along and laff and love with Matt and Chip as they brimp back ceaselessly against the past

Volume Two is actually quite different in tone to Volume One, although thinking back, Volume One was already shifting in that direction. Where the story of the two main characters started with them meeting and having a lot of sex and fun together, Volume Two now deals with issues that arise for them after the honeymoon period is over. To be fair, the honeymoon was already fading in Volume One when the threat from the Sex Police became apparent and dangerous.

The opening really focusses on Jon and his mental health issues, which were being masked in the glow of a new crazy relationship before. He spirals, tries to cope alone, has some conversations with shrinks and so forth. I thought it dealt with the issues it raised very well, including the fact that he was worrying that he and Suzi weren't having "enough" sex any more. Of course, when the narrative cuts to Suzi's point of view, we quickly learn that Jon had barely been paying enough attention to realise what Suzi's problems were.

As well as a nuanced take on what happens after the beginning of a relationship, the superhero aspect of the plot also moves forwards significantly. The Sex Police are still after them but as well as focussing on Jon and Suzi, we also learn some backstories of a couple of other characters. Quite how one of them will fit into the overarching plot, I'm not sure but the other character's role was a bit more obvious (lack of details because spoilers).

If you enjoyed the first volume/five issues of Sex Criminals, then I definitely recommend picking up the second volume/next five issues. It's less "fun" than the opening, but I think the seriousness was needed for the story to progress in anything other than a flippant way. If you haven't picked up any Sex Criminals yet, then I do recommend giving it a go. But start at the beginning or it won't make a huge amount of sense.

4 / 5 stars

First published: January 2015, Image Comics
Series: Sex Criminals Volume 2 of ongoing series (containing issues #6–10)
Format read: Trade
Source: Purchased from physical comic book store

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