Sex is a new book coming out through Image and will be hitting shelves March 6th. The series is written by Joe Casey with art by Piotr Kowalski. The first issue of this series, as with many first issues, is a bit confusing. Our main character, Simon Cooke, is returning to “Saturn City” where he is a prominent businessman. Cooke has his name on at least one building in Saturn City so wealth is implied. The series starts off with Cooke returning from a seven month sabbatical. You don’t know exactly why he left or why he is returning but the important bit is that he’s back and no one who works at his company seem to have any idea of where Cooke has been.
The series has a sort of futuristic “Mad Men” feel to it. Cooke Company seems to have something to do with protection and weapons and to my best guess Simon Cooke was a superhero but has since retired. This is never actually said but, like I said, it’s my best guess. Most of the first issue is talking in different locations with characters whose importance is not quite clear. Casey introduces them so I guess he has plans for them but we really don’t get much more than a gloss over of the cast Casey has created. We get a minor sense of Simon Cooke but most of the other characters seem shallow.
The pacing is a bit rushed but this is a first issue. Casey is introducing his world but, to be honest, it’s a bit dull. Sex seems to go for some sort of sophistication with nice suits, corporate executives, and a hell of a lot of talking. There is honestly very little action in this book.
The dialog is fine. It’s not amazing and I sometimes had trouble distinguishing what character was saying what. Other than that, the dialog is fine. Casey tells the story well, but it’s still a bit jumbled.
There are many unexplained flashbacks that just seem to jump on the page at odd times. You get a little bit of a better sense of them at the end of the issue but when you first see the flash backs you wonder if there was a page mix up.
The art is actually very well done in this series. Kowalski differentiates between characters moderately well while keeping the story moving along. Most of the story takes place in dialog so almost all the panels are people talking for more than half the book but Kowalski still finds small places to make this book his own.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This book is called Sex. Where’s the sex?” For the first 16 pages you will be wondering but then when you hit page 17 things get graphic quite quickly. I know this is a bit of a minor spoiler but I think it needs to be said. There is a bit of graphic sex in this book so if that is something you shy away from, then you probably shouldn’t pick up a comic book called Sex. I will say that vagina is shown on the page and by that I mean there is a panel of just a vagina.
This issue has sex but it doesn’t fit well in the series. While Cooke is watching two women going at each other, he is having flash backs of an old woman (I think his mother or grandmother) in the hospital where she is dying, showing us, in no certain terms, that comic books are no longer for children. From what Casey has introduced, the sex seems to not actually forward the story but to draw in readers.
Sex tries to cram too much into its first issue. While I was impressed with the art, the shallow characters and less than action filled (unless you count the end) story just don’t equal a book that I’m overly impressed with. I’m going to say pass on this one but I assume many people will still pick up the first issue because of the letters S-E-X.