Comic Book Reviews (Week September 21, 2022): X-Terminators Issue 1, Shed & More!

X-Terminators Issue 1 review
X-Terminators Issue 1 (Image: Marvel Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (September 21, 2022). I will be covering X-Terminators issue 1, Shed, Stuff of Nightmares issue 1, and more.

I don’t know what I was expecting from X-Terminators issue 1 by writer Leah Williams, but it sure wasn’t what I ended up getting. The entire thing was so dumb and chaotic, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. I wanted more!

The premise of this new series involved Dazzler wanting to get over a breakup by inviting Jubilee for a girls’ night out. Boom-Boom decided to tag along and soon the three mutant women found their night turning into something completely different after getting kidnapped. There are vampires, monsters, some kind of game show, visually appealing art (by Carlos Gomez & Bryan Valenza), and lots of cursing. It’s great!

With the main X-Men titles being all serious, I want more side titles allowing the characters to have fun. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Stuff of Nightmares issue 1 review
Stuff of Nightmares Issue 1 (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Stuff of Nightmares Issue 1

With Halloween just around the corner, getting a new story to read from R.L. Stine was definitely a welcome treat. Stuff of Nightmares issue 1 opened with narration from a mysterious figure sharing a horrific tale about science getting out of hand. While I expected the overall Frankestine-vibe, the story was still able to surprise me with how things went for certain characters.

The art by A.L. Kaplan (illustrator) and Roman Titov (colorist) did a great job of setting the creepy fast-paced tone. There’s so much gore and violence. I loved it.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Creepshow issue 1 review
Creepshow Issue 1 (Image: Image Comics)

Creepshow Issue 1

Talking about another new horror anthology series, Creepshow issue 1 featured two stories. The first one, titled ‘Take One’ by writer and artist Chris Burnham, was about a bunch of kids not following instructions during Trick or Treat. The second story, titled ‘Shingo’ by writers Paul Dini and Stephen Langford, focused on a kid’s birthday party gone wrong.

The art by Burnham (illustrator) and Adriano Lucas (colorist) in ‘Take One’ really stood out for me. And I really liked the tension in ‘Shingo’ as the performer at Fiona’s birthday showed its true nature and yet the adults were oblivious. 

Both stories, along with being enjoyable, had certain lessons. I really liked the point ‘Take One’ made about how, in a sense, a person who intentionally did something wrong was more to blame than someone who didn’t think performing a particular task was wrong. As for ‘Shingo’, the twist at the end made an interesting point about kids like Fiona.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up

crashing issue 1 cover
Crashing Issue 1 Cover A by Morgan Beem (Image: PR/IDW)

Crashing Issue 1

As someone who recently interviewed writer Matthew Klein and artist Morgan Beem, I was looking forward to reading the debut issue of Crashing. The premise involved a fictional world where superpowered beings existed (both heroes and villains). However, there’s an argument in the non-powered human community about whether or not such beings should be treated at local hospitals. We got to learn about the situation through our protagonist Rose as she went against hospital rules to save the lives of two superpowered individuals.

There are definitely some Civil War (Marvel Comics) vibes going on due to talks about a Registration Act. But Crashing holds its own because it’s more about sharing the non-powered human perspective.

I liked Rose as the main character. She’s got her own issues to deal with, primarily wanting to remain pill-free after working hard to beat her addiction. However, things aren’t as easy as Rose had hoped because she’s got a debt to pay, and not complying came with severe consequences. 

The visuals by Beem (illustrator) and Triona Farrell (colorist), including the letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, really helped immerse me in the chaos of Rose’s world. The panels where she’s moving around the hospital floor were wonderfully realized.

I’m looking forward to seeing where Rose’s journey will take her. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

The Lonesome Hunters Issue 4 Review
The Lonesome Hunters Issue 4 (Image: Dark Horse Comics)

The Lonesome Hunters Issue 4

From writer, artist, and letterer Tyler Crook, The Lonesome Hunters issue 4 continued Howard and Lupe’s journey to try and save themselves from a bunch of evil magpies and their queen. I get that Howard wanted to keep Lupe safe, but I mean, it was obvious his plan wasn’t going to work. The supernatural Magpie Queen wasn’t going to rest until she got that magical sword.

I liked how the issue made both leads realize that they needed to stick together and find another way to get rid of the sword. In my opinion, Crook did a great job of organically developing Howard and Lupe’s relationship. In a sense, both characters had no one else to turn to. Not only that, but I also liked how Crook didn’t make Lupe an annoying young sidekick to Howard. Lupe and Howard had an understanding. They even liked each other’s company.

With the world expanding even further and more characters entering the quest to get the sword, I’m very interested in reading the next chapter.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Wynd The Throne in the Sky issue 2 review
Wynd: The Throne In The Sky (Image: BOOM! Studios)

Wynd: The Throne in the Sky Issue 2

From writer James Tynion IV and artist Michael Dialynas, the second issue of Wynd: The Throne in the Sky featured a lot of talking. And thankfully not the boring type of talking. The conversations that took place in this chapter were important as they not only laid the groundwork for what’s to come but also explored the dynamic between certain characters after what they had recently gone through.

I really liked the conversation Wynd had with Merien. With Wynd still trying to figure out his real identity, it made sense for him to not be so open to Merien presenting him as a savior of the entire world. Yes, people needed hope, but Wynd, still a kid, wasn’t ready to carry such a huge responsibility. I do feel that both characters came to a logical comprise by the end. Of course, Wynd’s going to do the right thing to protect his friends and others, but he should have a say in what he wants others to see him as.

The hope in Merien’s eyes contrasted well with what General Eks thought about believing in legends of the Winged Ones arriving to usher in a time of peace. With the kids getting ready to make a dangerous journey, I’m looking forward to seeing how General Eks and his troop will complicate the situation.

Other than that, I liked seeing how the adults weren’t going to wait around to be rescued. There are a lot of political moves being made. Not a lot of stories, targeted at young readers, allow the adults to do something. So, it was nice to see certain adult characters, directly connected to said political moves, coming up with plans to change their predicament. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Pick it up!

Shed graphic novel review
Shed (Image: Blue Fox Comics)

Shed (Graphic Novel)

I was provided with a free digital copy of the Shed graphic novel for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

I found Shed by co-writers Lucy Campagnolo and Richard Fairgray (also the artist) operating on so many levels, I don’t think I can do justice to how this story made me feel in a written review. In my opinion, this atmospheric horror story is one of those tales that will elicit a unique response depending on the reader’s personal journey.

The story’s about a young woman named Amber arriving in the small town of New Havelock to run a local shop after the death of her father. As far as Amber’s concerned, this is it! Being down on her luck, New Havelock was going to be the place for her to find a happy ending, especially as someone who grew up listening to the stories about the town. There’s local lore about a giant sea monster after all.

However, Amber’s excitement wanes when she meets a disgruntled old woman named Fran. What follows is Amber being caught between someone like Fran, who wants out of town, and a group of old women adamant to keep things as they always were.

Even though the intrigue of the sea monster is there (is it a friend or foe? Does it even exist?), you won’t help but feel that there’s something off with New Havelock. Some say that real horror lies in the mundane, and that’s what the narrative of Shed makes use of exceptionally well. Amber’s invited to hang out, run her store, find a boyfriend, do all the normal stuff, and yet I found myself telling her, “Amber, you in danger, girl.”

The danger is the narrative is about allowing memories to consume you, not taking risks, wasting the potential of youth, being too confident about the decisions you make, becoming complacent, and more.

Even the titular word ‘Shed’ can be about shedding one’s inhibitions, fake personas, letting go of a past version of yourself or it can be about finding shelter without realizing how detrimental it can be for you in the long run. 

Again, so many relatable levels!

The romance between Fran and her girlfriend was a highlight and the way it all connected to the lore of the sea monster was just… wow!

Of course, everything packed the emotional punch it’s supposed to due to Fairgray’s intricate art. From the facial expressions to the settings, you will find yourself spending time on the panels to take in every detail, especially during the scenes that take place in Amber’s shop.

And once again, Fairgray spent his time drawing certain actions. For example, there’s a scene early on where Amber used a key to cut the tape securing a cardboard box. In a sense, Amber opening a box could have been shown in a single panel. But Fairgray broke it down across five panels, building anticipation for what’s inside the box. My mind added the sound of a key slicing across the tape on its own. 

As of writing this review, the Kickstarter Campaign for Shed has impressively collected more than $6,000 against the required $1,517 goal. And I couldn’t be happier. Shed is undoubtedly one of the best horror graphic novels to be released this year.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: PICK IT UP!

Which comic books did you read this week?

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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