The elusive mechanics of female pleasure are key to the plot of Sex Criminals , Fraction's ongoing comic with artist Chip Zdarsky, which comes out in its first collected edition this week. It's the story of a young woman named Suzie, whose awkward sexual encounters come with a unique twist: she stops time whenever she climaxes. Sex becomes a bit of a lonely experience until she meets—and falls for—Jon, a man who happens to have the exact same sexual superpower. There's an oddly sweet moment when they realize that the other person is still there after sex, which also serves as a metaphor for what it's like to finally meet the right person who makes sex something besides awkward and lonely. After that, their next step is clear.
Outside of some curious corners of the underground, the history of comics and sexuality is…not so great. Or, even worse, hyper-sexualized characters who are clearly nowhere near their 18th year. If you love comics but are itching to take a break from all that drivel, dig into the list below. Fraction even includes a few PSAs here and there, postulating the crazy notion that fewer kids would get knocked up if they had access to sex ed, and reminding us in a firm tone that sex workers are, in fact, people too, whom you should neither shame nor poke fun at.
The Boys offers an improved version of the Starlight sexual assault story from the comic books, adapting the infamous moment and its consequences for an era influenced by the MeToo and Time's Up movements. After outgrowing her small-town roots, Starlight is accepted to join The Seven - the top superhero team operating within the U. Upon achieving her goal of hitting the big leagues, however, Starlight's outlook is sent crashing down to Earth, as she realizes that the majority of her super-powered colleagues are self-centered, corrupt vigilantes only seeking to further their own reputations and use their renown to gain sex, money and influence. The Boys ' comic series demonstrated this difference in ideals in no uncertain terms when, during her first meeting as a member of The Seven, Homelander, Black Noir and A-Train demand she perform sexual favors for them in order not to be fired immediately from her dream job.
Remember that feeling you got when you first read the great comics of the Eighties? When fantastic deconstructions of superhero characters and genre fiction idioms introduced you to a new level of sophistication? When dozens of mainstream books were possessed of a style and edge that scaled up your spine and sent electricity licking through your neck? When sex and violence were done right?