Review – Sex Criminals #14 (Image Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Release Date: 17th February, 2016

The first page turn of Sex Criminals brings you up close and personal with Chip Zdarsky’s artistic addition to the world of pubic-hair sculpting. And don’t think you’ll be leaving that image for a little while, since the whole thing is bordered by the kind of background text jokes this series has become legendary for.

It’s the moments like these, where a shock moment segues into more hidden jokes before a perfectly captured expression of smugness appears in the next panel, that makes me love Sex Criminals. I’ve probably spent more time talking vaguely about these two panels alone than I have whole arcs in other comics. Sex Criminals is, if nothing else, a comic built upon the perfect execution of amazing visual and written gags.

Thankfully, that isn’t all this comic has going for it. After a few issues spent on side stories and new sexy deviants with sexy deviant powers, issue #14 brings the focus back to the main story, and to the fun and lovable relationship between Jon and Suzie. This issue ends on a big revelation for Suzie, a revelation that honestly wouldn’t have much impact if I hadn’t been made to care for these characters as real, flawed people.

I also have to give a shout-out to the incredibly meta mid-issue scene, where Matt Fraction calls a fur-coated, Howard the Duck coke money Chip Zdarsky and has a meltdown about not wanting to be too preachy in his comics. It’s a great use of the “it’s comics, we can do anything and call it meta” ideology, and of course the larger than life comic version of Chip, who is already a bizarre parody of man in real life, sells one of the single greatest pages in comic history. At this point you have to be invested not just in the comic, but in who the creators are, to “get it”, but it’s so very rewarding.

Rating: 5/5.

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ASavThe Writer of this piece was: Andrew Stevens
You can follow Andrew on Twitter

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