[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Avory and George Horowitz once worked at a San Francisco nightclub called Dirty Minds where one could fulfill their sexual fantasies with the company of others. However, it was shut-down by a fascistic and religious political organization called “The Party” which seized power in the United States. Now, George and Avory are married and living boring lives and working boring government jobs. However, Avory runs into some of her old colleagues from Dirty Minds who are setting up a new operation, and George witnesses something at the government “Pleasure Center” which gets him into a world of trouble.
SFSX #1 tells the story of a couple as they try to maintain their lives and identities in a world overtaken by an ultra-conservative and anti-sex political movement. The comic is a celebration of sex, sexuality, and sexual exploration while satirizing how invasive and cruel the conservative obsession and subsequent governmental restriction on the sexual activites of two or more consenting adults is and can be.
Subtlety isn’t on the menu with SFSX #1. The Party is a slightly-exaggerated version of every conservative wet blanket that’s ever talked about the dangers of sex and sexuality in a government forum. The Party even goes so far as to require married couples to fill out paperwork after intercourse. Also, one of the Party leaders is named “Boreman.”
The comic does several clever little things to keep the narrative interesting and invigorated. One such clever thing is that the Party often uses the language of feminism and progressivism to mask their outright contempt for women. It’s “feminist,” in the Party’s eyes, to keep women dressed modestly and to treat men like animals incapable of controlling their own libido…and innately blaming women for “tempting” that libido.
Michael Dowling’s artwork is expressive and evocative, and he doesn’t shy from showing genitalia–which is appropriate in a comic like this. The characters have distinct looks and specific body language, and the color work establishes a visceral atmosphere over everything.
SFSX #1 is a solid first step for this new Image Comics series. It has its issues: some of the satire is a little too direct for its own good, and I don’t find Avory to be an especially compelling lead as of yet despite having sympathy for her plight. That said, the comic still has many clever elements, and the artwork is damn good. As such, I can give this one a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
SFSX #1 comes to us from writer Tina Horn, artist Michael Dowling, letterer Steve Wands, and cover artist Tula Lotay.
Final Score: 7.5/10