Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sex #1

Written by Joe Casey
Art by Piotr Kowalski

Joe Casey is a 'buy on sight' writer for me, even if I don't always end up loving his work (the more recent issues of Godland, and his very strange Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance did not really do it for me), he has a pretty singular voice in modern comics, as a writer of truly independent and unique superhero books.

His new series Sex continues that trend.  I had no preconceived notions going into the book (I don't read solicitation text or website interviews and articles about books I know I'm going to buy), but assumed that this would be a light comedy about heroes getting it on.  Not even close.

Sex appears to be a story about Bruce Wayne trying to cobble together a normal life for himself after giving up being Batman.  Bruce is called Simon Cooke here, and Gotham is Saturn City.  Cooke is returning to the very densely-populated city after a seven month absence, looking to take back control of his company, and apply himself to shaking off his flaky reputation.  His alter ego, the Armored Saint, has been mothballed, and in his absence, the criminals are becoming more bold.

Simon is determined to keep a promise he made to build a more normal life for himself, but that seems a little outside his capabilities right now.

With the title being Sex, you'd expect there would be lots of it, and for that reason, readers picking up the title for a thrill are likely to be disappointed.  Simon does go to a high-end peepshow establishment, but the whole scene is not that exciting for any of the participants.  Perhaps a little more-so for the reader.

This issue felt like it was over almost before it began, but Casey had a lot to do to get the ball rolling.  He did definitely pique my interest, and I'm curious to see where he is going to take this story.  Piotr Kowalski's art is very nice, with a bit of a Tonci Zonjic feel to it.  The book has a very European sensibility in its appearance, something furthered by Rus Wooten's lettering, which looks to be straight from a French comic.

In all, this is a very good package (I love reading Casey's backmatter pages).  I don't think this title deserves any of the criticism it received prior to publication (which is mostly because of the title, from what I can gather), but it does deserve some attention.

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