Comic Book Reviews (Week April 13, 2022): Love and War Issue 1, Rain Issue 4 & More!

Superman Son of Kal-El issue 10 review
Superman: Son of Kal-El Issue 1 (Image: DC Comics)

Welcome to my comic book review round-up for the week of April 13, 2022. Finally, I got a week where I ended up reading a bunch of comics. I covered Rain Issue 4, Love and War Issue 1, Superman: Son of Kal-El Issue 10, and more.

Let’s begin with writer Tom Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El issue 10. The latest installment had Jon trying to fulfill his duties as a superhero while dealing with his reputation getting falsely tarnished in the media. I liked how Lois Lane had to step in to clear her son’s name and take Lex Luthor down a couple of pegs in front of the public. The bit she pulled with the Lasso of Truth was fun.

The current issue also had Jon coming out as queer to Lois. While that was an understandable scene to have, I do feel it was a bit unnecessary. I mean, do readers really think Lois, of all people, would be anti-LGBTQ? Jon’s reply when Lois said she always suspected he was queer made me laugh.

Now, if were the writer of Superman: Son of Kal-El, I would have made Lois a bit anti-LGBTQ just to cause drama amongst the readers. Of course, Lois wouldn’t have remained borderline homophobic, when it came to her son as the series progressed. I simply would have used such an opportunity to have Lois show some concern about Kal-El identifying as queer and being in a romantic relationship with another dude as someone who was aged up too quickly (compared to Earth standards) while stuck on the harsh Earth-3.

superman son of kal-el issue 10 review
Superman: Son of Kal-El Issue 10 (Image: DC Comics)

One of the biggest developments occurred as the issue came to a close, with Batman showing up to deliver some serious news. To be fair, I think a bunch of readers knew that Taylor was going to cause some drama between Jon and Jay. As far as I can tell, it looks like a case of misunderstanding. I highly doubt Jay’s an actual villain or doesn’t have true feelings for Jon.

Batman needs to direct his attention to his own Asian-descent “boyfriend” Ghost-Maker and leave Jay and Jon alone!

I liked Cian Tormey’s art with the panel featuring Jon arriving to protect Lois during her public speech being the clear standout. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Black Panther issue 5 review
Black Panther Issue 5 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Black Panther Issue 5

From writer John Ridley, Black Panther issue 5 more or less followed a predictable sequence of events. With Wakandan officials learning about what T’Challa had been up to, he had no other choice but to avoid arrest and figure out a way to clear his name. He’s definitely got some allies in his corner, so that’s nice.

At this point, I’m not really sure who the bad guys are. But I’m definitely intrigued to read more. You know Storm’s going to appear soon to help her beloved. And I can’t wait!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

 X-Men ’92: House of XCII issue 1 review
X-Men ’92: House of XCII Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Men ’92: House of XCII Issue 1

By writer Steve Foxe, with some nice art by Salva Espin and Israel Silva, the debut issue of X-Men ’92: House of XCII was… well, it was something. I won’t be surprised if the nostalgic novelty of creating a comic book series featuring the highly-popular X-Men: The Animated Series getting to experience the Krakoan Age runs out soon. There are some interesting developments; however, I couldn’t help but feel that the entire thing would have served readers better as a giant-size one-shot.

Also, as a fan of Storm, I didn’t like how casual she was about being put through the Resurrection Protocol when Ororo’s the type of character who values preserving life.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Up to you.

Mighty Morphin issue 18 review
Mighty Morphin Issue 18 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Mighty Morphin Issue 18

I won’t lie. After the stellar run by Ryan Parrott, trying to continue reading the Mighty Morphin series by new writer Mat Groom has been a struggle. And I have no idea why. The story continues from where Parrott left off and we have the same set of characters. But something doesn’t feel right. Maybe I’ll get into the current vibe after reading a couple more of the upcoming issues? Hmmm.

Groom definitely has an idea of where he wants to take the characters. Aisha got a nice little moment to shine as she brought down the tension between the Power Rangers and aliens trying to protect the underwater Eltarian Outpost. We also got some comedic moments through Rocky’s siblings. The twins performing the Dragon Ball fusion took me out!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Seven Secrets Issue 16 review
Seven Secrets Issue 16 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Seven Secrets Issue 16

From writer Tom Taylor, a lot happened in Seven Secrets issue 16. I wouldn’t have minded if the current issue slowed down a bit. In my opinion, the latest developments could have been spread out between two issues instead of cramming everything into one. But then again, perhaps the fast pace was intentional to showcase how even our heroes weren’t fully prepared for what occurred?

The cliffhanger ending has got me excited about what will happen next to Caspar. I mean, he will be okay, right? He has to be.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Kaiju score steal from the gods issue 1 review
Kaiju Score Steal From the Gods Issue 1 (Image: AfterShock Comics)

Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods Issue 1

The Kaiju Score comic book series is back and ‘Steal From the Gods’ issue 1 served as a very enjoyable introduction to a new heist set in a fictional Earth that has (somewhat) learned to live with Kaijus. Writer James Patrick used the debut issue to help readers understand a bit more about Michelle and how she’s been operating her current crew. The previous Kaiju-related heist understandably took a toll on her. Michelle was now content with keeping things small. However, that changed when she got an offer from a rich old dude to steal a valuable bounty, involving two God-like Kaijus. 

I liked Rem Broo’s art. This is definitely a unique-looking comic book and weird proportions just work for the overall visual style.

Also, here’s hoping Michelle’s little diary entries at the end continue to be a thing as this series continues. They were hilarious to read and did a lot to showcase her thought process.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Nocterra issue 9 review
Nocterra Issue 9 (Image: Image Comics)

Nocterra Issue 9

From Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel, Nocterra issue 9 offered a whole lot of action as well as a lot of engaging narration from Piper. With Bill agreeing to help Val and her crew, it was interesting to see Piper trying to manage her conflicting emotions toward Bill. He killed her grandfather after all, but the crew needed him to save the world. I’m looking forward to seeing if Bill will survive what’s to come, though.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

All Guts No Glory issue 3 review
All Guts, No Glory Issue 3 (Image: Zenescope)

All Guts, No Glory Issue 3

The third and final issue of All Guts, No Glory offered a predictable conclusion to the three-part arc. The third issue continued to offer humor and bloody action as Craig, Jimmy, and Sara made their (kind of) last stand against the supernatural and human threats for now. There’s a promise of more stories to come. So, hopefully, we will get to see this series expand.

The “fix” for Sara’s vampirism was a bit too convenient, but you know what? I’ll let it slide because I like her.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

Rain issue 4 review
Rain Issue 4 (Image: Image Comics)

Rain Issue 4

From writer David M. Booher, Rain issue 4 served yet another emotional issue as Honeysuckle made her way to meet her dead girlfriend’s father. I could feel something bad was going to happen to Honeysuckle again, and that’s exactly what transpired.

With only one more issue left, I wonder if it’s even possible to end such a story on a hopeful note. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against dark stories. It’s just that I have grown invested in the main cast and would like them to have somewhat of a happy ending.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Love and War cover April 2022
Love and War – comiXology Originals

Love and War Issue 1

I was provided with a free digital copy of Love and War issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

By writer Andrew Wheeler, I’ve been looking forward to reading Love and War ever since the preview was released. I’m here for such queer-led stories that offer a more slice-of-life take while focusing on some messy yet enjoyable relationship drama. The story’s set in the sports world of tug and war, with our lead character Domo being asked to be co-captain. And as if such a role wasn’t pressure-inducing enough, Domo’s also trying to deal with the confusion of his love interest Gabe mysteriously not showing up at school.

In my opinion, Wheeler’s got the high school romance and friendships vibe down. I liked Domo’s interactions with the rest of the cast and how Wheeler took the time to show the dynamics between other characters (without Domo around).

The most impactful moment occurred during the final pages as Domo realized something huge about Gabe’s disappearance. The entire sequence was so GOOD!!! The EMOTIONS!!! YOU ARE NOT READY!!! I’M STILL THINKING ABOUT IT!!!

I’m definitely looking forward to what Wheeler’s got planned for Domo’s journey as he not only tries to co-lead the tug of war team but also grapples with his feelings for Gabe and quite possibly the new student Emil.

The art by art by Killian Ng and Guillermo Saavedra suits the type of story being told, giving it a colorful and cartoony feel. Yes, the narrative has some heavy emotional stuff, but the visuals are a good reminder that at the end of the day, Love and War is going to be a queer-led story with a happy ending.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!  

Which comic books did you read this week? Did you enjoy Rain issue 4?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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