Sex 1: The Summer of Hard

sex volume 1 the summer of hard cover joe casey piotr kowalski
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Art: 4/10

Potential for an interesting story

Any potential was squandered by boring, unlikable characters and non-interesting risque attempts

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Sex

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Joe Casey

Artist:  Piotr Kowalski

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2014

sex #1 cover piotr kowalski art

Sex #1

Reprints Sex #1-8 (March 2013-October 2013).  Simon Cooke is accustom to living a secret lifestyle…as a super hero.  When he gives up his mantle and returns to Saturn City, he begins to enter a different underworld.  It is seedy world of sex and power that isn’t too different from the world of superheroes.  Everyone in Saturn City seems to be hiding a secret, and Simon Cooke is finding his place in the world.

Written by Joe Casey, Sex Volume 1:  The Summer of Hard is an Image Comics adult post-modern superhero comic book.  The series features art by Piotr Kowalski.

Both Sex and Sex Criminals were out on the racks at the same time.  While I heard a lot of buzz around Sex Criminals, Sex seemed to just “hang out there”.  I have liked Joe Casey’s stuff in the past, but it has largely been more mainstream superhero stuff (with a twist).  Here, Casey is expanding and trying something different…and I don’t particularly like the end results.

Sex tries to be tantalizing.  It is full of course and vulgar characters having as the title implies “Sex”.  This isn’t the real problem with the series; the problem with the series is that it doesn’t seem to go anywhere.  There are some plotlines and potentially interesting stories, but the comic comes off as more derivative than clever.

The ultra-sexualized story feels more like an Alan Moore comic book without Alan Moore’s creativity.  Comic books like Lost Girls and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen seem to have a hook and an idea to build them on.  Here, Casey just takes a dull Bruce Wayne-esque character and has them being Bruce Wayne instead of Batman…it isn’t very inspired.

sex #7 cover piotr kowalski

Sex #7

The comic also feels like it is taking aspects of Ex Machina while trying to recreate the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman.  While Batman and Catwoman were all-ages sexual tension, the Cooke character is for adults…yet the tension between Batman and Catwoman was a lot better and more tangible despite not being explicit like this book.

I like some of the art but the style of the comic also really is grating.  The primary problems I have are with the coloring and oddly enough the letterer (Brad Simpson and Rus Wooton).  The colors for the comic are rather muted and very single color driven.  It reminds me of Millar’s The Dark Knight without Miller’s style.  Random words are highlighted in color for emphasis, but I find it extremely distracting and honestly rather irritating.

These factors combine to make Sex a chore (ironically).  None of the characters are very interesting and none of the plotlines being set-up by Casey really compel me to seek out the next volume.  The risqué nature of the comic feels rather bland next to true sex driven comics like Sex Criminals and even something like Preacher or Rick Veitch’s satirical Brat Pack.  Just skip out on Sex…you aren’t missing much.  Sex 1:  The Summer of Hard was followed by Sex 2:  Supercool.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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