Sex Criminals 3: Three the Hard Way

sex criminals volume 3 the hard way cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Still clever and filthy

Sometimes gets too into itself

Comic Info

Comic Name: Sex Criminals

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Chip Zdarsky

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2016

sex criminals #11 cover review

Sex Criminals #11

Reprints Sex Criminals #11-15 (July 2015-April 2016).  Sex is getting…confusing.  For Myrtle, her work with the Sex Police is creating a problem in her marriage as she tries to get files from Jon’s psychiatrist.  Rachel’s boyfriend Robert isn’t sure he can deal with Rachel’s level of sex.  The discovery of two “new” sex powers in a man named Doug and a woman named Alix could pose new problems.  For Suzie and Jon, things are going great, but Suzie is starting to have second thoughts about sex and robbing banks…which could cause a problem since that’s the thrust of their relationship.

Written by Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals Volume 3:  Three the Hard Way is an Image Comics crime comedy book.  Following Sex Criminals Volume 2:  Two Worlds, One Cop, the series features art by Chip Zdarsky, and the issues in the volume were also collected as part of Big Hard Sex Criminals—Volume 2.  Each issue features a standard cover and a XXX cover which came bagged.

Sex Criminals is a fun book, but it is also surprisingly layered.  Reading it over an extended period of time can be tricky with multiple characters and multiple sexual quirks…but the series makes it worth it.

The series breaks the fourth wall a lot and this volume cracks it wide open.  With questions about the future of Suzie and Jon’s sex/crime spree, “But it’s the whole premise of the book” is uttered within the text.  This awareness gives the book an extra quirk factor that runs the risk of being too quirky, but for the most part, it holds on.

sex criminals #14 cover xxx version

Sex Criminals #14 Variant

The real break of the wall involves an extended conversation in Sex Criminals #14 between Chip Dzarsky and Matt Fraction.  Fraction argues that he doesn’t feel right placing judgment calls on some of the sex acts and to be putting words in the mouths of the women.  It seems a bit pretentious, but within the conversation this also comes up…so it is aware that it self-serving (he gets to exit a conversation that he doesn’t want to write and play up equality and non-judgment).

The series also introduces the idea that sex is different to different people.  You meet Douglas who lives at home with his mother and has an anime fairy princess appear during his sex and you get Alix who just needs the thrill to activate her abilities.  It is an interesting take that goes along with the non-judgment aspect of the book…plus, it continues to add fun, weird twists.

Sex Criminals is a pretty filthy book that loves being filthy.  Within the book that is starting to be realized.  Can the characters keep up this pace and does the sex lose its meaning?  If you were to gauge Sex Criminals future shelf life from this volume, you’d guess it was coming near the end, but it’s only halfway there…bring on the weird sex and keep reading Sex Criminals Sex Criminals 3:  Three the Hard Way is followed by Sex Criminals 4:  Fourgy!

Related Links:

Sex Criminals 1:  One Weird Trick

Sex Criminals 2:  Two Worlds, One Cop

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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