Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. SEX!
There, now that we’ve gotten the taboo-titled name of Joe Casey’s latest foray into comics out of our system and out-of-the-way, we can stop our giggling and end our shameless puns. Sex #1 is Joe Casey’s “fusion” indie series being released through Image Comics. In Casey’s afterword, he describes “fusion” as the hybrid of independent style storytelling with a superhero genre influence. The notable writer has had a bunch of experience in handling both genres, having written a multitude of comics for both Marvel, DC, Wildstorm, Image, and Dark Horse prior to this release. While the title of this particular title is certain to grab the attention of comic shop attendees observing it on the shelf, the subject matter of the book seems to be about a much broader scope.
This first issue deals with a rich, white male named Simon Cooke returning to his home of Saturn City. Simon seems to have retired his costumed, superhero days and is now trying to fill the empty void that it has left him. Imagine Bruce Wayne giving up the Batman mantle and now has no choice but to try to lead a normal life. The key word in that is “try.” Simon is having trouble reallocating his life to normalcy. He finds himself lured into the criminal underworld of the city he had previously abandoned and tries to use the perverted pornography of it as a coping mechanism.
But that only barely scratches the surface to what writer Joe Casey is trying to set up here. We’re introduced to a myriad of other characters that seem to play a significant role in Simon Cooke’s life from his lawyer, an aging crime boss, a dying maternal figure, and a lone tombstone. Every great sexual experience is all about the tease, and what Joe Casey is able to do is carefully tease your curiosity and keep you wanting more with every page.
Artist Piotr Kowalski craftily renders the stage of Saturn City. The reader is able to get the vibe that this is a megalopolis set in the future with the renditions of skyscrapers and the two-page panel of Simon Cooke flying in to Saturn City via helicopter. While the refinement isn’t necessarily all there in every panel, Kowalski certainly brings a unique style and he doesn’t slack on providing busy backgrounds where most artists might opt not to.
Colorist Brad Simpson could use a round of applause for the amount of variations and amount of work he had to put into this issue as he juggles panels featuring nightclubs, futuristic city streets, close-ups, wide shots, cityscapes, and porno booths. Yes, there are some panels feature some very explicit sexual maneuvers that may offend some, but it shouldn’t be a shocking to anyone that has lived beyond the Puritan ages. For some odd reason some of the words in speech bubbles from characters were also colored and whether that is the intention of writer Joe Casey or the stylization of letterer Rus Wooton has yet to be determined, but it’s something to make note of when reading.
On the whole, Sex sells. It creates enough interest and intrigue in this introductory issue that go further than just having a provocative title on the cover. Where we go from this issue has yet to be determined, but for now I recommend you enjoy Sex.