Sex Criminals (vol. 1-2): One Weird Trick & Two Worlds, One Cop - Matt Fraction

Seeing how incredibly popular and award winning this comic series is, it only made sense for me to want to find out what the buzz was about. The story revolves around Suzie and Jon (yes with a Z and without an H, because that shows how cool they are), who both have a bizarre magical power wherein when they orgasm they temporarily stop time. The plot begins when Jon suggest they use their power to rob an evil bank corporation to pay off the mortgage Suzie's library owes to the bank. The problem is they're not alone with their powers, and are now being hunted by those who would keep them in check. Now that we're on the same page let me go through the various unfortunate reasons why this comic is an absolute pile of garbage. Fraction writes most of the comic with the two main characters, and sometimes even himself, speaking directly to the audience, which might've been clever once upon a time, but largely is a sign of laziness and inability to express character or conflict through dialogue or action. He does a fair job going into Suzie's history, expressing her anger with the evil corporation, only vaguely amusingly called Bankcorp, who she blames for the death of her father, and the fact that it is shutting down her beloved library due to mortgage payments, showing her confusion during her years of sexual discovery and lack of information. This last part is the highlight of the comic as it captures confusion of adolescent years, but quickly undermines itself, as her best friend overwhelms her with misinformation about sexual positions when she starts by saying that she wishes someone had talked to her at an early age, so that she might not have contracted HPV. The undermining I'm speaking of is that this is the first, and only until a bit of a joke page in the second volume wherein birth-control methods are discussed, reference to STI (yes, STI not STD), aside from when Jon jokingly thinks he has HIV--people die from that, this is not a joke (and so why would a kid be wearing a t-shirt that makes fun of AIDs in volume two, I have no idea)--and there's absolutely no indication that any of the characters are concerned about STIs, discussing such issues with their partners, or means of preventing them (e.g., condom use). Fraction also tries to give a similar backstory for Jon, but it is poorly done, or rather simply uninteresting. Suzie is obviously made a librarian to play with the fetish of the sexy librarian, but it would help if Fraction knew anything about public libraries, such as they are not owned by banks. Suzie is drawn like an absolute bombshell, which is to be expected in comics, but Jon looks like an absolute nothing, and he wins her over only by reciting the opening lines of her favorite book (what he knew because he wanted to be an actor, a point that is never taken up again, such as why he gave up this dream, how he fell into his bank secretary job, how old he is, etc.), and then they proceed to stay together, presumably only because they share this magical power (and the ability to orgasm non-stop), as they don't appear to have anything else in common, not that they really have personalities anyway.

Jon is depicted as having various problems (although he keeps getting hot women, so how severe can the problems be?) in that he failed in his career as an actor (again, did he even try? we don't know) and now is stuck in a bank job he hates and also has various mental and behavior problems and doesn't want take his medicine. This is the second time in a week that I have read a comic wherein not taking medicine that prevents mental disorders is depicted as a noble thing. I find this kind a statement to be incredibly dangerous and irresponsible. It is also his idea to rob Bankcorp in order to pay the library's mortgage--because the bank won't notice that their missing money is being used as payment.

One final note, it is not exactly commonplace that a couple will orgasm at the exact same time, especially their first time together. I just feel that Fraction knows as little about sex as he does libraries, and this entire comic is an exercise in fulfilling adolescent fantasy, which is fine, but not deserving of awards, best-selling status, or critical acclaim. For all its make believe to promote sexual expression, the comic does more harm then good by promoting misinformation or delusions about sex. It's a fluff piece, making Fraction a Fluffer. sex criminals