So with this issue, I realize that Sex Criminals is really, to some extent, a metaphor for love.
(I realize this because Jon all but tells me that in his narration. But, still. REVELATION!)
So if the first five issues were all about the mad, crazy, pulsating rush of New Love, then the story starting with this issue seems to be all about coming down from that, realizing that, holy shit, you love someone, and figuring out how to work that into your daily routine. For Jon, that means dealing with his shit: he's a little bit crazy, and and he needs to get right for Suzie. That means going back on his meds, and offers the opportunity for some entertaining discussion of the pros and cons of anti-depressants. On the one hand, they leave Jon feeling like this:
But on the other, they keep him from descending into situations like this:
As with everything else this book has dealt with from day one, it's funny and touching and real, but with just enough sardonic wit to keep the whole thing from reading like a fucking Afterschool Special. So, high marks.
Oh, yeah. There's also some more stuff with the Sex Police, and Kegel-Face, and all that. Just in case you worried that the book was going to stop being about people with magic orgasms just because Our Heroes were settling down into a normal relationship...Grade: A Thor, God of Thunder 22 & 23, by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic God, this book is dumb. God, this book is awesome. God. God-DAMN, even. (If you'll pardon the blasphemy.) I was gonna say more, but... really... This is a book that gives you troll-punching, environmentalism, pointlessly evil corporations... and ALL-BLACK the NECRO-THOR! And that pretty much says it all. Grade: B+ Fatale 23, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips Only one more issue to go, and my favorite Brubaker/Phillips collaboration to date will be over. I'll miss it like hell. But in the meantime... As the cover sort of implies, this issue, Fatale goes COSMIC. And it does so through an issue-long psychic sex act that would put Carlos Castaneda to shame. It's an act of astonishing intimacy, Josephine using her deliciously ill-defined abilities to not just show Nicolas who she is, but to allow him to experience her life first-hand. He literally becomes her at various key points in her life, points that we previously haven't seen: the moment she became what she is, and her disastrous attempt to raise a son. That second one's a real missing puzzle piece slotting into place. It explains a lot about the life we've seen her living as we've touched base with her over the decades, a life of seclusion that I had just chalked up to her not wanting to deal with the unwanted attentions of men. But, oooh man. It's so much more than that. The first one's the really exciting one for me, though, touching as it does on the high weirdness at the series' core. And, since the image of that I wanna share with you is a bit NSFW (and SPOILERY besides)... I think I'll just tuck it safely away after the jump...
So, yeah. Holy crap. That’s one of the better visual portrayals of an encounter with Lovecraftian Outer Entities I’ve ever seen (and as my other blog might hint, I’ve seen quite a few). The thing that works best for it, I think, is its mystery. It keeps the Outer Horrors at a distance, while still rendering them horrible. Maybe more horrible, even, because it implies more than it shows. And what it implies is a roiling, chaotic mass of eyeballs and tentacle-tongues concealed inside a space-mouth filled with jagged yellow teeth. Gah! That’s far better than the rubbery monster bullshit you usually get when someone tries to illustrate this sort of thing. Actually showing the madness-inducing Unknowable, after all, is a sucker’s game. If the human mind can’t comprehend a thing, any drawing of it is bound to be a disappointment. Far better this sort of glimpse through the veil, which shows you just enough for you to imagine more.
So! Nicely-done, gentlemen! A major character reveal, AND Lovecraft Done Right! All in the same issue! Any fan of the weird could not ask for more.