The first arc of Sex Criminals comes to an end with an issue that, whilst probably the least funny so far, was still highly enjoyable. The plot gets more serious here, and we even find out some rather worrying details about Jon, that could spell bad things for the future. He isn’t the happy-go-lucky awesome dude we thought, nope, he has issues.
Fraction kicks things off with Suzy and Jon tied up in the back of the Sex Police’s car. Given that they are the Sex Police, the handcuffs they’ve used are actually sex-toys, and Suzy has experience with them, and so is able to bust free. We then flashback to see that Suze got this experience from preparing for the robbery, as they tested out what kind of things would work inside the Quiet. It turns out that stuff like vibrators still work when time is stopped, and that the gun they take with them into the bank is just that… a vibrator. I liked how in this scene Jon was wearing ‘sexy’ Star Trek and Spider-Man costumes, Chip Zdarsky always puts in funny little details like that.
Up next is some recon, as our heroes stop time and go inside the bank to look around. Suzy is creeped out by the leader of the Sex Police who is there in the bank too, but somehow manages to stay frozen. Suzy accidentally walks in on Jon doing his shitting in his boss’s plant pot thing, and it’s here that we find out Jon’s big secret. As a kid, he was diagnosed with ADHD and also something called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He was on medication, but it ruined his sex life with his old girlfriend, so after she broke up with him, he stopped. This ODD is why he shits in his boss’s plant. Suzy looks up this disorder later on in the issue, and the list of symptoms could be spelling out some bad stuff for the future if Suzy ever breaks up with Jon. Although it could go nowhere, Fraction seems like the kind of writer who’d want to depict this kind of mental illness as no big deal, which is fine, but probably not as dramatically interesting.
While Jon tells Suzy this in a diner, they approached by the leader of the Sex Police, who tells the couple that she’s on to them and that they should stop right now. In perhaps the issue’s funniest moment, she is doing kegels the whole time, which seriously freaks everyone out. After this, Suzy returns home, where her roommate Rachel tries to stop her from going through with the robbery. When Suzy storms out, Rachel calls up Sex Police and basically rats. But of course, Suzy is having doubts, especially after learning about Jon’s medical stuff. But there’s a crucial scene towards the end of the issue, where both she and us the audience are reminded of why she wants to rob a bank… to save the Library. Suzy helps out a student who is sort of young version of her with a school project, and we basically see how valuable libraries and librarians can be, and so she’s back in. You wouldn’t expect a title called ‘Sex Criminals’ to be such a passionate warrior in the fight to save public services, but it is, and that’s part of what makes it so good. Yes, it’s ridiculous and stupid and perverted, but it’s also smart and relevant at the same time.
The issue ends back with Suzy and Jon tied up in the car, as Suzy escapes and grabs the gun-vibrator. It accidentally brushes up against the lead Sex Police woman, which causes her to have an orgasm and leave The Quiet. On seeing this, the 2 other Sex Cops cum too, and Jon and Suzy are alone again, with their captors frozen. They get out of the car and just… run. Suzy grabs the weird glowing Sex Police phone in order to find out more, but for now, our heroes are on the run. It’s going to be very interesting to see what this book is going to be like when it returns in June (fucking June), I imagine that Jon and Suzy won’t be able to return to their regular lives after this. I hope this thing just gets weirder and weirder and more sci-fi.
Chip Zdarsky’s art is still the perfect fit for this title, his cartooning is unlike anything else on the shelves, and so is Fraction’s story. I just love the facial expressions he draws, and I also think his colouring has been fantastic throughout. You can instantly tell when a scene is in The Quiet, which is very important. If you haven’t read this series yet, and you’re not like, 12 years old, then definitely pick up the trade, it really is unique.