Badal Exposes Himself In Sex Criminals #28

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It’s hard to believe that Sex Criminals is just about at its end. Only in this issue, does that reality finally set in. At long last, there are answers to questions we’ve wondered about the whole series. The biggest question, of course, is simply: Why? Why is Badal after Jon, Suze, and co? Look no further as we finally get our answer here. Sex Criminals #28 is written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky, who also provides the cover.

A Foreseen Future

Suze’s odd premonitions have been leading up to this very moment, where she confronts Badal head-on. Badal has had similar premonitions, so is ready for what’s to come in Sex Criminals #28. Badal is a jerk. This, of course, is an understatement, but it is a fairly accurate summation of his character. He radiates a cockiness that is unparalleled by anyone else in the series, easily. He’s so sure of himself and teases Suze over their shared apparent shared knowledge of what comes next.

Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020
Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020

Unsettling is a good word to use for Badal throughout Sex Criminals #28. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been unsettling this whole time, but it really elevates him here to a level that may make you uncomfortable reading it even. This light goading of Suze is just the beginning of his antagonistic play. Even the lighting at work heightens the creepiness factor, so kudos to Zdarsky.

“Are You There God? It’s Me, Suze”

There really was nothing that could have prepared me for this revelation in Sex Criminals #28. Badal genuinely believes that Suze is somehow, god, at least in some way. That is his driving force, and there is nothing he is more sure of. You could say that it was his life’s work to meet God, or even that it was his destiny. That’s quite an accusation to levy at a librarian with time-stopping sex powers.

Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020
Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020

Naturally, Suze has no reason to believe that’s true. No god she’s ever read about has the power to stop time when having an orgasm. Still, Badal has a singular focus. He needs god for his wild plans to come to fruition. He believes his own power to be limited, essentially, but Suze is capable of things he could never be. It’s almost certainly not the answer she was expecting from her visions, but here we are.

Back To The Past

So why does Badal need God anyway? Why does he need any of these people he’s been chasing along with Jon and Suze? Sex Criminals #28 makes it clear that they are all a means to an end for Badal. He believes if he can get enough power from those like him, he can change the course of history. The power of Jon and Suze is typically viewed through the lens of time coming to a halt around them, however, what if they were actually just removing themselves from time? In a series that’s been crazy since the first issue, this is a whole new level of insanity.

Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020
Sex Criminals #28-Image comics 2020

According to Suze’s logic, time only moves forward, and there should be no way backward. Badal disagrees and has based his entire mission around this concept. He sees her as the master of time, able to have approached him in the past already somehow, though she has no knowledge or memory of this. The dialogue from Suze in the past is key here because it’s going to look very familiar by the end of the issue, as we come full circle.

The Visuals Of Sex Criminals #28

I’m a big fan of a lot of the artistic choices made in Sex Criminals #28. The vibrating Suze that appears in the past is every bit as trippy to look at as you could imagine, including her dialogue. The red hues used for Badal and Suze’s conversation, most of the length of the comic, provide a sinister vibe that really makes this whole climax work expertly. The layering of the colors when Badal stops time is, as always, immensely impressive, and gorgeous to look at. Chip deserves a very long break from drawing when this series hits its end shortly.

Final Thoughts On Sex Criminals #28

Everything is so heavy at this point, and I am loving it. There’s little-to-no humor to be gleaned from these pages, and that’s okay. Badal is revealed as being much more sadistic than previously thought, literally only able to orgasm while dispensing cruelty. Fraction has paced the story out well enough that even though this is the most time we’ve spent with Badal thus far, it still feels like he’s been front-and-center from the start, as everything now comes to a head.

Things have escalated to an incredible degree at this stage in the book, and there are only several issues left before it wraps up, but it’s clear that Fraction and Zdarsky have only saved their craziest and zaniest story beats for the end.

Badal Exposes Himself In Sex Criminals #28
PROS
Just gorgeous art, as always
Long-anticipated revelations finally coming to a head
CONS
Not too many jokes in these pages this time around
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