Comic Book Reviews (Week January 25, 2023): Sins of Sinister Issue 1, X-Terminators Issue 5 & More!

Sins of Sinister Issue 1 Review
Sins of Sinister Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (January 25, 2023). I will be covering Sins of Sinister issue 1, Octopus, X-Terminators issue 5, and more.

Let’s begin by talking about the Sins of Sinister issue 1 by writer Kieron Gillen and artist Lucas Werneck (and a bunch of special guest artists). For those who were iffy about the Resurrection Protocols from the start, well, the current ‘Sins of Sinister’ event did validate those concerns. It’s through the resurrection process that Sinister was able to corrupt the Quiet Council and then moved on to corrupt the rest of the mutants and humankind.

Sinister’s all about world domination and Kieron did an impressive job of keeping the narrative snappy as it showcased Sinister corrupting humans and getting rid of the big players (the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Eternals, etc.) from the game board in a span of 5-10 years. However, one character remained untouched… said character being Storm, because she (along with the deceased Magneto) took themselves out of the Resurrection Protocols a while back.

The ‘Sins of Sinister’ event is basically Sinister and everybody versus Storm and her band of Arakki mutants, and I’m here for all of it – even if the current event is an alternate-timeline type of story. Also, the fact that a Black woman is the face of the Resistance against Sinister because she refused to assimilate has narrative layers to it. 

The panels that showed Storm teaming up with Lactuca to get rid of Charles and Emma’s telepathic attack against her were just… wow!

Sins of Sinister Issue 1 review
Sins of Sinister Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

With Ororo having the Arakki by her side, along with Mystique and Destiny, I’m looking forward to seeing how her space-covering war against Sinister and his minions will continue.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

X-Terminators issue 5 review
X-Terminators Issue 5 (Image: Marvel Comics)

X-Terminators Issue 5

From writer Leah Wiliams, X-Terminators issue 5 brought the current arc to an end, for now. The final page did promise that the X-Terminators series will be back. So, I have my fingers crossed that the return is soon. I really enjoyed reading a story that felt different from the rest of the X-Men comic books out there. In a way, the dynamics between the co-leads felt real. Of course, close friends would use raunchy language and throw shade at each other even while fighting vampires and The Collector.

While Leah’s writing is fun, I have to give major points to artist Carlos Gomez for visualizing the humor in the script through facial expressions and body language. Seeing the characters have fun helps the readers feel the same, too.

Also, yes to Jubilee being allowed to go all out. I remember how her powers were considered a joke in the X-Men fandom. Well, think again!

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Mighy Morphin Power Rangers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue 2 review
MMPR/TMNT II Issue 2 (Image: BOOM! Studios and IDW)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II Issue 2

From writer Ryan Parrott and illustrator Dan Mora, the second issue of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles raised the stakes while also featuring an unexpected twist. At this point, I don’t know what to think of Casey even after Ralph tried what he could to break Casey out of the “presumed” mind control.

Even with the Turtles teaming up with the Rangers, and getting to Morph alongside them (including April), our heroes still needed more help against Rita’s seemingly endless minions and ensuring Zordon was kept safe. An “ally” did appear during the cliffhanger. Then again, I don’t think said “ally” can be fully trusted by our heroes. But hey, as they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Our young heroes require all the help they can get.

With the current issue being very action-heavy, I liked the little scene featuring Zordon and Splinter talking about what their students were experiencing. They both felt bad about making the young Rangers and the Turtles continue to fight a dangerous war to protect the world. But someone had to take on the responsibility. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Creepshow issue 5 review
Creepshow Issue 5 (Image: Image Comics)

Creepshow Issue 5

The fifth issue of Creepshow again had two stories. Unfortunately, they both panned out as expected. ‘Thirst Trap’ by writer Steve Orlando was about a gay guy making a deal with the devil to remain young in return for giving the devil other souls to feed on (or something to that effect). Of course, things didn’t work out well for the guy and the devil soon found another host. 

The second story, titled ‘Husk’, by Clay McLeod Chapman, was about a seventeen-year-old young girl feeling uncomfortable in her own skin as her parents prepared her for the debutant ball. And yes, she gave everyone a surprise during her unveiling.

Both stories were okay. And they did serve the horror factor. However, I wanted them to not be so predictable.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

My Bad II issue 3 review
My Bad II Issue 3 (Image: AHOY Comics)

My Bad II Issue 3

I was provided with a free digital copy of My Bad II Issue 3 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From co-writers Mark Russell and Bryce Ingman, with art by Peter Krause, My Bad II issue 3 concluded the murderous Pizza Guy arc in a very unexpected, and thankfully enjoyable, manner. With how things worked out for The Chandelier, I have no idea what will happen to him next. I guess the other heroes will try to cheer him up or something. But yes, it can be argued that it’s time for him to retire permanently. However, as shown by how the Pizza Guy situation was handled, maybe actual retirement for heroes just wasn’t possible.

As for the ‘Beach Boy’ story, it took an interesting turn, too, with Rush Hour agreeing to certain terms to become a spokesperson for DFC. I don’t see it ending well in the long run. And I have to say that I miss Rush Hour and Emperor King’s interactions. I get that Emperor King’s out there trying to pretend to be a superhero to find himself a date, but still, I hope the two get to meet each other soon.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Youth III issue 1 review
Youth III Issue 3 (Image: comiXology Originals)

Youth III Issue 1

I was provided with a free digital copy of Youth III Issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Yeah. I think I have to finally accept the fact that writer Curt Pires’ Youth series isn’t for me. The teen superhero story has been enjoyable to read (even though having the cast move to Mars for the latest installment did give off X-Men vibes). But the relationship drama, which continued to use the problematic trope of bisexuals not being able to keep it in their pants, is too much for me. And, truth be told, I can get my teen superhero fix sans clichéd bisexual representation somewhere else.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with characters, bisexuals included, wanting to be in open relationships. What I don’t like is bisexual characters cheating on their current romantic partners. And it’s not as if we haven’t seen this happen before in Youth. And now going into the third season, I’m like, ‘Maybe try to write something new?’

I just can’t make myself feel invested in River and Franklin’s relationship anymore (which, frankly, was a major part of why I continued reading this series). Sigh!

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Up to you.

Octopus Memoir of Flailing review
Octopus – A Memoir of Flailing (Image: Richard Fairgray)

Octopus – A Memoir of Flailing

I was provided with a free digital copy of Octopus – A Memoir of Faliling for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Trigger Warning: This story portrays molestation. Consider yourself warned.

From writer Richard Fairgray, Octopus – A Memoir of Flailing is a book he wrote during the beginning of the pandemic. He kept himself from releasing it because sharing certain parts of life, complete with the adult-oriented stuff, might not gel well with his reputation as a kid-centric comic book creator. However, after a change in his personal life, Fairgray finally decided to release this particular memoir, and you know what? Good for him!

I’m always impressed by creatives deciding to bring forth the authentic version of themselves and not continue to feel restrained due to certain publishing commitments or marketing fears.

A throughline in Octopus is Fairgray’s fear of turning into an octopus, related to how he has his hands (tentacles) in way too many things at one, feels he’s taking up too much space during social settings, etc. Readers get to follow Fairgray through a bunch of stories highlighting different moments in his life as he goes through drama relating to his professional life, friendships, and romance. There’s NSFW art involved. So, be prepared.

Everything is visualized in Fairgray’s signature artwork that balances simplicity with dynamic movements to ensure every character feels alive. One of the things I like about Fairgray’s art style is how he sets the scene. His panel work (that focus on little actions) and lettering do an impressive job of keeping a reader’s eye moving which, in turn, makes it seem the characters are moving even though they are just people drawn on a piece of paper.

Even if you aren’t familiar with Fairgray, Octopus – A Memoir of Flailing still works as a look into the life of a legally blind queer comic book artist who learned (and is likely still learning) to accept the good things that come his way.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Support it on Kickstarter! (It has already made more than $4000 CAD against the initial $2000 CAD goal from more than 100 backers.)    

Which comic books did you read this week? What did you think of Sins of Sinister issue 1?

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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