cover image Sex, Book I: The Summer of Hard

Sex, Book I: The Summer of Hard

Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski. Image, $9.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-60706-784-9

Bringing together issues #1–#8 of his series, Casey (Uncanny X-Men, Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker) gives readers another sharp, twisted take on superhero clichés. Readers will be engrossed by this story about retired superhero, Simon Cooke—but for surprising reasons. Having returned to Saturn City to head up his company and live once again as a “normal” citizen when his days as the Armored Saint come to an end, Cooke finds the transition difficult, to say the least. He doesn’t deal well with the people closest to him, not even his own lawyer, and he finds his professional responsibilities equally challenging. Although sex is everywhere in this book—and it’s pretty explicit sex at that—it never seems gratuitous, and Cooke’s attitude towards it and to all manner of excess is really the fascinating part of the story. Casey is so good here in developing his protagonist that the reader ultimately feels like the “hard” of the subtitle speaks more to Cooke’s experience of the world around him than to the titillating pun that suggests itself. Illustrated by Kowalski with beauty and, at times, equal measures of brutality, Sex is something readers will find themselves wanting pretty bad. (Dec.)