In today’s main review, the terminal issue of X-Terminators is here, and it’s left us asking: when will they revive the Marvel Maxx line? This review contains SPOILERS, but you can scroll on down to the Rapid Rundown for a spoiler-lite blurb about Sins of Sinister #1.
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Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: Carlos Gómez
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Design: Tom Muller
Cover Artists: Federico Vicentini & Matt Milla
Where does the time go? It seems like X-Terminators #1 was just released, doesn’t it? Sadly, our time with the team on this run has come to the end, but with an entertaining issue that keeps the title’s high energy going right up until the very last panel.
After the three-page introduction, this issue begins with what absolutely must be considered a contender for “greatest Marvel Comics recap page of all time”: the cell phone-telephone group chat between Dazzler, Boom-Boom, Jubilee, and Wolverine. Not only does it include Jubilee repeatedly re-adding a perplexed Laura back into the chat, but also it establishes the focal point and tone of the book: the friendship between these four women, as explored through a sardonic and brutally hilarious lens.
The rest of the issue is filled with super-powered ladies delivering comeuppance to men (and/or monsters) who deserve it, all while looking fantastic (and also commenting on the fact that they look fantastic, especially now that they have their official uniforms back). If you’ve read any of the previous issues of the series, this is what you’ve come to expect, and this conclusive issue delivers.
It also uses some excellent use of technical sequential narrative tricks to pull off this story. These include a nine-panel page featuring the quartet in preparation for the climactic battle, as well as some neat lettering techniques, like the fractured word balloon for an Otherworld refugee or the black-and-white censor bars for the curse words.
Me Talk Dirty Someday
And speaking of the censored word balloons, I do have one bone to pick about this issue, and really this series generally. This is a topic that was raised in our first Marvel Rundown roundtable of 2023 a few weeks ago: why not revive the MAX line and give Williams a couple of titles – say, a sequel to both X-Terminators and Gwenpool Strikes Back – and really let her get as filthy with them as she pleases?
There is an argument for the comedic elements of curse-word censorship (c.f. Star Trek: Lower Decks). But while some of the scratched-out swears are amusing, it’s hard to argue they’re more amusing than, say, Laura’s comparatively uncensored declaration of, “It’s beer o’clock, sluts!”
Now imagine what Williams could accomplish with the censorship bumpers taken off. But keep it to yourself, please; it’s probably disgusting.
If all that’s not enough, this issue also includes Laura using her claws to open four beer bottles at once.
With an unapologetic bent towards ass-kicking and action-sequences, X-Terminators has offered a fun five issues… However, it’s yet another miniseries that itself argues against the constant five-issue truncation of the most innovative and interesting Marvel Comics title on the menu.
Alas! Here’s hoping for the MAX line revival, and a more-than-five-issue run of X-Terminators Strike Back.
Verdict: Email Marvel’s X office and ask for more of this series… preferably in the Marvel MAX format.
- Sins of Sinister #1
- If you’ve been reading the X-Books then you know that Marvel seems to be wrapping up the Krakoan era with Kieron Gillen setting the island nation on fire. And so begins the Sins of Sinister, a neat spin on other alternate X-histories with everything hinging on the genetic manipulations of Nataniel Essex/Mister Sinister. When Krakoa was founded somehow several of the X-Men’s most dangerous rivals ended up in leadership positions, among them Mister Sinister, and with this access, he’s enacted his grand plot to take control of everything. Joining artist Lucas Werneck on this voyage providing splash pages of this twisted future timeline are special guest artists Geoffrey Shaw, Marco Checchetto, Juan José Ryp, David Baldeón, Travel Foreman, Carlos Gómez, Federico Vicentini, David Lopez, Joshua Cassara, and Stefano Caselli. Starting here, Sins of Sinister is a slick looking, ambitious jumping-off point to this event of three other mini-series, full of betrayal and drama, and taking place over 1,000 years with everything on the line for Mutants. — GC3
Next week, February 1st arrives with Bloodline: Daughter of Blade #1, Demon Wars: Down in Flames #1, and Silver Surfer: Ghost Light #1.