Issue two of Sex Criminals, aptly named “Come, World,” switches over to the backstory of Jon and how he came to discover his ability. Again we see the inclusion of a frame narrative, where the main plot of the robbery borders the flashbacks and developing story of Jon. The main point of this issue centers around the differences between how boys learn about sex versus how girls do as seen in the last issue. Along the way, we also get to see more characterization of both Jon and Suzie.
Both Jon and Suzie’s stories of their sexual education had a backdrop of repression and confusion behind it, which is to be expected considering how young they are and the sex education system in general. However, Jon’s exploration of sex was through porn whereas Suzie’s was more personal and in-ward focused. What we see from Jon’s experience though helps paint a picture of his current personality. Instead of Suzie’s meticulous way of sorting and recording everything that happens to her as well as the photos of sexual partners she’s had, Jon’s story is more one of reckless abandon. His story of Cumworld seems to show that well enough. We get to see how the discovery of his power to freeze time has given him a kind of freedom to do what he wants, which includes stealing porn from a sex shop and getting away with petty crimes like destruction of property. Through the contrast between Suzie and Jon’s use of their power we get to see how their time in “Cumworld” or “The Quiet” can be a release from the pressures of society and give them a time where they can expend pent-up energy away from judgmental eyes.
I don’t know how we’re meant to see Jon’s actions though or if we’re supposed to brush them off as the recklessness of youth. But with the bank robberies and other things that older Jon does, would you consider him an anti-hero? Someone who does all the wrong things for the right reasons? Though I don’t know if I would consider his personal reason for the robbery (i.e. getting back at his boss) a “right” reason. But I guess that’s what readers find appealing about these characters, the fact that they act in ways you would consider human rather than heroic.
Which brings me to Suzie’s characterization in this issue, more specifically her view of porn stars. Honestly, this whole scene didn’t sit right with me. I know we can interpret it as a display of people’s conflicting views of sex as both shameful and natural, but it just makes her more unlikable in my eyes. More specifically, this line: “It doesn’t say which of her Uncle’s touched her, but it’s Wikipedia.” The fact that she equates being a porn star with child sexual abuse is pretty damning for her character in general. This is followed by the picture of the porn star talking back to her and criticizing her judgment, to which Suzie slams the laptop closed, dismissing everything that was said. We can turn this around and see it as just another facet of creating “real” characters with complicated views of sex, but I think if there is no backlash or growth to that opinion in the future, then it paints a bad picture for the creator as well. Of course, it’s not only this instance that makes me question her character as well, it’s her constant comments about her best friend. I’ll be talking more about this in a later review, but I wanted to point out one comment she made: “Basically, there is no one left in our circle or circle’s circle that hasn’t finger-banged her, so…” Now, I want you to remember this quote for number four’s review, as I’ll be coming back to it then, but for now, ponder this: would you want your best friend saying this about you to other people?
Stay tuned for Issue 3’s review coming soon! Be sure to hit that follow button or follow me on Facebook for updates!