It’s interesting that every time I read an issue of Sex Criminals, I can’t help but think it might have been better had the story started earlier in the timeline. It’s not that I don’t care about what’s happening in the comic’s “present,” but we see so little of it per issue that I consistently forget about what I’m supposed to be excited to see more of. I’m just really enjoying the characters, and I don’t think jumping around in time was needed as much. I might not be able to use that criticism next time though, it seems like the nonlinearity of the story is coming to a close, as the flashbacks in this issue start to swing toward what we saw in the opening scene of issue 1.
It’s fun, when it comes right down to it. This comic is evolving into something that’s just plain fun to read.
And again, Suzie breaks the fourth wall. It’s another small thing that is beginning to feel pointless. She only does it once this time that I remember, but what’s funny about it is she almost immediately stops herself and lets the story take back control. It's as if they're trying to hold on to a gimmick that they know doesn't work anymore.
It’s fun though, when it comes right down to it. This comic is evolving into something that’s just plain fun to read. And you can tell that the creators feel the same way. It’s fun to have Suzie talk to the audience directly, it’s fun to jump around in time, it’s fun to have unnecessary dance numbers that transform into the best joke the series has done to date – which, if the text in-comic is to be believed the entire “Fat Bottomed Girls” scene wasn’t planned to play out like it does. Happy accidents, I suppose. And any time the jokes go over the top or get too ridiculous, I can forgive them. Because the characters are written so well, and I've connected to them, and there for every joke that does go too far, there are a dozen others that hit the mark perfectly.
Actually, this issue is the funniest by far. I hope it’s a sign of what’s to come, because some of the sight gags – the porn parody movie posters in the sex shop, for example – really add to the fact that this is a comic. It makes me so happy when the chosen medium for a story is used correctly, and this is one of the few examples I’ve seen recently. They’re perfectly placed, never overt, and just add to the fun of reading what has come to be a very enjoyable series overall.
Hopefully Sex Criminals finds a way to maintain its humor as it seems like the plot is picking up steam, and could potentially lead to somewhere serious. Which is fine, it could be a refreshing change and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes. But if they’re not careful, it could switch genres in a very jarring way and…well, no more censored musical numbers. Then where would we be?
The third issue of Sex Criminals, published by Image Comics, is available now for a $2.99 digital release or a $3.50 cover price.