Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #276: Sex Criminals, Vol. 5: Five-Fingered Discount by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

I have two ways I could start this, and I don't know which one to take. So my indecision will instead be the actual starting point, and I will provide you with two options:
  • Last time out, I noted that Sex Criminals seemed to be sliding in the direction of being a superhero comic about people with sex-based powers, but that tide is now going out.
  • There might be a real honest-to-god ending coming up for Sex Criminals, and not just amusing sex-jokes and vaguely sex-positive character development.
Both of those things are positive, to my mind -- the world already has too many superhero comics, and not enough comics that actually end well. So I'm reenergized, at least a bit, which is a nice thing to have happen five books into a series.

In case you're lost, I'll repeat the information in the title. The book is Sex Criminals, Vol. 5: Five-Fingered Discount, reprinting issues 21-25 of the Image series written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Chip Zdarsky. For some more context, see my posts on the earlier books: the unnamed first volumeTwo Worlds, One Cop, Three the Hard Way. and Fourgy.

As the back covers explain amusingly, both Suze and Jon make time stop when they orgasm. They discovered their mutual secret the first time they had sex, and used it to rob banks for a while. Since then, they've learned that a bunch of other people can do the same thing, and even weirder things.

In the last volume, they broke up. (Um, Spoiler! I guess.) Since Sex Criminals is a reasonably mainstream serial comic with occasional superhero tropisms, we know both that "breaking up the team" is something that will happen every so often and that it cannot be permanent.

I'm not going to throw in a Spoiler! again, but guess what?

This is the volume where nearly the entire sex-powered cast (which is all but one or two of them) are slowly gravitating towards each other, slowly giving up their individual complaints and animuses, for the big team-up against the real villain: the rich guy.

(He is a real villain, too, and a complete asshole, but he's also the one rich guy.)

From the end of this book, I had the strong opinion that there would be one more volume to get us to the big ending, and it looks like I'm right: random Googling told me that some random Internet guy says that is indeed the case. And if you can't believe some random Internet guy, who can you believe? (He sourced it to the issue #25 letter column. Does that sound slightly more authoritative?)

So: this is mostly character stuff (plus sex jokes), and the threatened superhero-style all-hands smack-down has been averted, at least for now. There will be one more volume, to fix whatever can be fixed, and give whoever deserves it a Happily Ever After. Stuff actually happens that matters in this book, and it's pretty much all decisions and thoughts -- moments between people. And, again, a lot of sex jokes -- what could be better?

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