One of the key points about Watchmen that the comics industry is afraid to touch is the fact that, in the real world, if you wake up one day with the ability to fling cars, and your first thought is, “I need to go buy a spandex costume”, you are probably not a well-adjusted individual.
Sex, despite the title, is not about superheroes getting it on. It’s about whether or not superheroes have all their marbles.
Joe Casey’s story follows Simon Cooke, retired superhero and head, naturally, of a massive multibillion dollar conglomerate. After years of neglecting his responsibilities in favor of beating people up, Simon’s back in his city after a long absence and ready to put the superhero life behind him.
The story works because Cooke is not an obviously messed-up person on the surface. He doesn’t have temper issues, he doesn’t freak out over every little thing, he seems, on the surface, to be fairly normal. It’s not until he pays for, and observes, a live sex show where he’s watching a lesbian fantasy… and thinking about his dying mother.
Cooke looks and acts normal, or at least tries to. But he doesn’t know how to be normal, especially when it comes to his own desires, and the book makes it tantalizingly clear that’s going to be a serious problem.
Piotr Kowalski’s work is a nice mix of the lurid and the mundane. Kowalski’s work ranges from elaborate cityscapes to the adult entertainment in question. It’s not a porn book, but a serious one, and Kowalski seems to enjoy dancing around the edges and playing with fantasy versus reality. We’re not going to feature the dirtier parts, but even a city shot shows this off:
This obviously is not a book for anyone other than adults. But it’s a promising start with some compelling ideas.