Jon and Suzie’s whirlwind romance has had some pretty high stakes thus far, but can any young relationship survive the kind of madness they’ve been through? (Lloyd and Diane, maybe?) Your Major Spoilers review of Sex Criminals #8 awaits!
“So… we’re taking a break,” says Suzie to open the issue, a panel that kicks me in the gut right out of the gate. Suzie’s first half of the issue is a bit weird, as she explains to us, the readers, that she and Jon have agreed to spend some time sort of apart, then transitions into her visit with a new doctor (with a couple of pages of really good information regarding birth control methods, since she’s been having some issues with the pill). She is totally into him, and even imagines him stripping for her before we discover something unusual about her lady-parts… other than the whole “messin’ with the space/time continuum” business: Her cervix is textbook perfect, something that’s apparently unusual. Let me say this: Nobody does awkward like ‘Sex Criminals’, and things get really unnerving before getting terribly awkward as Suzie asks him out.
What could possibly make this even more awkward?
AND THEN, IT GETS UGLY
Ohhh, everything, really. Jon (who has given up on his therapist and had a very strange experience that may have netted him a new one) shows up, it turns out that Doctor Rainbow is an old friend of his, and has technically been part of the backstory of the book since the very beginning. Since issue #1, Fraction and Zdarsky have kept me guessing with this book, and every time I think I’ve got the gist of what’s going on, they thrown another wrench in the works. It’s maddening on the one hand, but the second half of this issue makes the kick of the first panel feel like a pleasant caress from your ex… or… something. Suffice to say that I don’t want to spoil it, but this is a pretty important turning point in the S.C. meta-narrative, and one that feels like nothing will ever be the same again. Artistically, it’s a striking issue, not the least of which because our new character is so well designed, and because Jon’s possible new therapist looks REALLY familiar…
THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS ONE HURTS
If you’ve been reading this book regularly, you’re aware of the madness that is Sex Criminals, and you might expect that there aren’t any surprises left in their bag of tricks. You (and, to be honest, I) would be wrong… Sex Criminals #8 is a great balance of funny, awkward, sad and touching, with a smidgen of heartbreak to spice it all up, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall. I don’t know what’s coming next, but I’m more than happy to come back next issue and find out…