What I'm Reading: SEX 1 & 2
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
ed note: I will NOT put up with anyone commenting about this post being offensive, the book I'm writing about touches on the more perverse depths of the human psyche. If you can't be a grown up and read this post from the perspective of an adult, then don't read this post... oh and also... Some spoilers may be had.
Let's talk about SEX baby, let's talk about you and me, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that make me, let's talk about sex (littlebitalittlebit)... Okay! enough waxing old school baby makin' jams.
SEX from Image Comics is a very different take on the SUPERHERO story. Written by veteran Superhero writer Joe Casey (wrote X-Men, Spiderman, Flash, and Superman books). SEX is, well... not JUST about SEX but it is a frontal theme of this new book. As stated in his afterword in the first issue, "maybe it's time we just took back the 'alternative comix' tag and repurposed it to our own perverse pleasure". As far as I am concerned, I don't skirt around talk of sex like a tip-toeing father after he puts his baby down to sleep. It isn't something to be ashamed about, it's human nature and it's pretty goddamn fun. In fact one of the first letters the publishers received even before the release of the issue was an overly self righteous rant about how this comic enthusiast "will NOT be buying this piece of filth" and how she doesn't "know why [Joe Casey] think[s] the world needs this series". Before I go into the nitty titty gritty of the issues, to the self righteous comic book fan, FUCK YOU for immediately thinking that a series like this has no place amongst comics. It's backward thinking like that which continues to keep mediums like this down when content of a more risqué nature is presented. Rather than tip-toeing around the subject matter, let is be out there. People will have sex and people will want to read about sex, it isn't inherently perverse, it's human nature and like I said before... damn fun.
Anyway! SEX is a SUPERHERO tale (so far) sans-SUPERHEROES. Simon Cooke is coming home. As the story opens, Simon Cooke is already a retired caped vigilante in the vein of Batman or Green Arrow. It's the story of a city's prodigal son returning, the city is Saturn City, and he's back to devote himself to running his company legitimately. Apparently, he made a promise to a mentor of his, this elderly lady who made him promise to hang up his cape and cowl. The first two issues are fairly light as far as stories go, focusing mostly on visiting with his lawyer and some of the more instrumental folk who work for him. Simon works out, visits the office, meets with his lawyer, and enjoys a few drinks from a fairly buxom waitress. It's a homecoming with a bit of bitterness, one of the main themes is his coping with being a retired hero.
As the first issue comes to a close, Simon finds himself checking out a peepshow. Two girls in masks behind a glass pane thoroughly enjoying each other's "company," eventually one of the girls chides Simon for now jerking off, at this point a door opens. This leads to running into a former acquaintance. Her name is Annabelle but upon first glance he calls her by the name of Shadow Lynx. At this point it's become fairly clear to me that Joe Casey took a cue from Batman and his rogues gallery, and why wouldn't he? Batman does have one of the best. It's clear that Simon and Annabelle have some history, and in the vein of the Bat and the Cat, I wouldn't be surprised if they were at one time lovers. I must note that at this point there is still not a peep of any hero costumes.
By issue 2, it continues on, with Annabelle leading Simon by the nose and right out the back door. More of the same come issue two, a few bits and pieces of a flashback. This issued also prominently featured a young boy on a motorbike, perhaps a former sidekick? He did seem quite capable of taking care of himself. Keenan Wade is his name, in the first issue he was just a random dishwasher, but this issue it's clear he has some connection with the hero Simon Cooke used to be. An old man who also made an appearance in the first issue returns, he has the air of a villain about him. Especially evident when he's fucking this buxom blonde doggystyle and while in the midst of coitus, he puts a gun to her head and pulls the trigger. Pretty fucked up old man.
The book comes to a close with a prostitute in Simon's penthouse, after he orders her to leave he gets a mysterious call... and that's all I have until the next issue!
OVERALL, I enjoyed these issues, I like how Joe Casey isn't pulling punches with this one. There is alot of sex in the first couple issues of SEX and I anticipate much more to come. This isn't a book for those easily offended by sexuality, but to be honest, give it a chance. Human sexuality is a beautiful thing, even in its darkest and dirtiest of states. This book isn't shying away from that subject matter and I applaud them for it. The art style is beautiful with a color palette very reminiscent of silver age superhero books. I enjoyed it thoroughly and can't wait for the next issue.