Sex Criminal Volume 3: Three the Hard Way – Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky

sexcriminals_vol3-1Ehhhhhh.

I mean, I liked volumes 1 and 2. I did. And part of that was that the premise was funny and clever, and part of that was the characters and storyline. But now… the cleverness of the premise has sort of worn off and… the plot and characters haven’t really gone anywhere. Nothing… really happens in volume 3. Nothing gets resolved. We just get a few more additions and nothing… changes. And that’s a bit dull.

It was actually kind of weird?

I’ve been enjoying so many of the comics I’ve been reading recently that I wasn’t expecting much less of this. But… I dunno, maybe I’ve just read too many good comics recently? This somehow didn’t feel up to scratch.

When I say “nothing happened”, I guess that’s not fair. Events occurred, for sure. But nothing happened with regard to the characters and their relationships? It didn’t feel like there was any development. And the characters were always kind of the point, beyond the clever idea. So without any movement for them… it feels a bit empty.

I mean, that’s not me saying nothing happened at all and the book was entirely worthless. It was still quite fun, quite clever, quite funny. They enjoy breaking the fourth wall. The art is still amusing… but it just doesn’t have the sustained character stuff that makes a series continue to be good, so it feels like it’s trailing off, unable to live up to the promise of its forbears. Which, hey, that’s sad, but it happens.

I’ll probably read the next one. I mean, I won’t buy it, but if the boyfriend does, I’ll borrow it and read it (such a bold statement, I know).

But… I’m just not excited anymore? The next one would have its work cut out to prove this isn’t a one trick pony, and that they can keep delivering on characters, on ideas and on plots. And if it does do that? Then that’s fantastic. And I’m not ruling it out by any means. I think they have the potential to do it. But volume 3 just isn’t reaching that potential for me, and so it feels so wooden and empty compared to the two who came before. Which is a problem with a good series. You’ve got to keep on being a good series. And that’s probably a lot harder than simply being a good book. And definitely a lot harder than just being a good idea.

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About readerofelse

A student of a redundant, useless and thoroughly interesting subject and reader of many books, particularly fantasy, science fiction and plenty else besides.
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