After taking on this little project, I’ve come to the realization that I have yet another legitimate reason to not read comics by the issue (the first, of course, being that I like saving money because I’m broke af). These little 40-page snippets of a bigger story frustrate me deep within my soul. Sure, they’re quick, and they’re sort of helping me out of my current reading slump, but I need more. Coming from reading all novels all the time (hell, even coming from reading manga), I need a complete story; and these little issues just aren’t quite working out for me. How do you guys do it? Another problem that comes when reviewing these bad boys is telling just enough for a review without actually giving you a page-by-page (which would be just as short if we’re being completely honest with ourselves). Anyways, I’ll probably keep doing this because, on some level, I’m enjoying myself.
Now, without further adieu… on to the comics!
Sex Criminals #1: Suzie Down in the Quiet
by Matt Fraction (Writer), Chip Zdarsky (Illustrator)
Suzie’s a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets John… who has the same gift. And so they do what any other sex-having, time-stopping, couple would do: they rob banks. In the vein of THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN and BRIDESMAIDS, Image Comics invites you to come along with MATT FRACTION (Hawkeye, SATELLITE SAM) and CHIP ZDARSKY (Prison Funnies, Monster Cops) for the series that puts the “comic” back in “comics” and the “sexy” back in “sex crimes.”
Mini Review: I’m mad as hell that I even want to continue this story because I didn’t really like it until the end (very good graphics all the way through, tho). This (totally NSFW) comic begins with our two criminals (???) about to get it on in a public restroom while the police are right outside the door threatening to come in. Great. The story, however, doesn’t continue from there. Instead, our main character, Suzie, decides that in order to talk about where we are we have to go from the beginning. Fine. I was expecting that. What I wasn’t expecting was an information dump of epic proportions to be unloaded on me in the span of like 15 pages. Don’t get me wrong. It was necessary. It just wasn’t seamless in the slightest. These bits (which made up the entire first issue) felt awkward with Suzie trying way too hard to be conversational with the reader. Also, there were quite a few unforgivable moments where good ol’ Suze jumped between past and present on the same page. Every single time that happened, I just paused to glare at her because I was that angry. Like… do not confuse me further with your BS, Suzie What’sYourName. In short, this issue was a rough start to what has the potential to be a decent comic.
The cliffhanger ending (which brings us back to the present sex-in-the-public-restroom situation) is the only reason I want to continue this one. I want to know where we’re going from here. Hopefully (with the lovely backstory out of the way) there will be less telling and more showing in the issues to come. I mean, It’s a comic for God’s sake. SHOW. ME. SOMETHING.
The Wicked + The Divine #1
by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrator)
Every 90 years or so, twelve gods incarnate in the bodies of the young. They are charismatic and brilliant. They stand before crowds, speak in tongues, and send them into rapture. They’re rumored to perform secretive miracles. They save people’s lives, either metaphorically or literally.
They are loved. They are hated. They are brilliant.
Within two years, they’re dead.
Mini Review: Anything that contains some form of mythology always has my undivided attention. Also, anything that contains POC and queer characters? I’m here to the bitter fucking end. Ahem, now that we’ve got those biases out of the way, let’s move on to the nitty gritty. If Sex Criminals suffered from too much exposition, then The Wicked + The Divine suffered from lack of it. I might sound a bit hypocritical here, but this issue definitely needed more to it. As of right now, I’m so horribly confused about what’s going on… but interested? It’s almost as if the reader is just thrown into the middle of story that’s already been told. Though, we are introduced to a conflict (!! people are already dying, y’all !!) that will carry us throughout the rest of this volume, and I’m curious to see how that all plays out. It’s hard to explain this one here because I was so “Okay, I like you… more than Sex Criminals” about it.
While I didn’t hate The Wicked + The Divine, I also wasn’t blown away by its genius. In short, this first issue was a decent beginning to what I hope will be an amazing series. This is definitely something I can see myself getting into… eventually. I just hope that, moving forward, any god that’s introduced will be portrayed by a character of that particular ethnicity (because I’m pretty sure the reincarnated version of Amaterasu is not of Japanese decent, and I’m kind of mad about it).