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'Sinister Sons' #5 reaches its potential and swings for the cosmic fences
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Sinister Sons’ #5 reaches its potential and swings for the cosmic fences

Hope you don’t have too many daddy issues.

Across its first three issues, I’d been saying that Sinister Sons just needed to get out into the world. That’s because creators Peter J. Tomasi and Vasco Georgiev had mostly given us a generally good, slightly imperfect portrayal of the burgeoning “friendship” between Lor and Sinson.

But after issue #4 welcomed a new guest into the belly of the space whale Melville, it seemed like the Sinister Sons were finally making it into the universe proper just in time for the penultimate fifth issue. And that potential was almost fully realized as issue #5 is an especially vital and accomplished chapter in this short but poignant series.

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The aforementioned guest is, of course, Sinestro, the possible biological father of Sinson (and the youngster’s driving force for embarking on this adventure in the first place). I’d mentioned in my review of issue #4 that his arrival was perhaps the best choice for this book, and this latest issue more than proves that as it does a couple of rather important things for Sinister Sons: providing greater odds and further focusing the larger storyline.

I won’t get too into what happens after Sinestro’s made his presence known, but there’s a few key takeaways here. For one, we see the sharp comparison between Sinestro and “Major Tom,” who are really the only two adults the Sinister Sons have been around. (I mean, Lor’s had his parents, but for the core of this storyline, it’s just those two). These two very different figures could be helpful in forming and shaping the boys as they develop across this story — do they really want to be like big, bad Sinestro, or is there maybe more to learn from our dear Space Ranger? Either way, it’s a subtle but powerful decision that gives the boys structure and odds and choices as much as it also complicates the narrative further.

'Sinister Sons' #5 reaches its potential and swings for the cosmic fences

Courtesy of DC Comics.

Sinestro also does something really novel in that his presence isn’t nearly as singular as you’d expect. By that I mean, having just one of the boys’ dads show up might seem a little one-sided, but it’s not at all in the execution. Sure, to an extent, that makes us engage more with Sinson, but yet that’s perfectly OK as he’s perhaps the primed for this position and it’s also a totally good entry point into delving deeper and more meaningfully into the inner lives of the Sinister Sons. At the same time, though, Sinestro clearly does as much to bring the boys together in a powerful little convo about their future and their relationships with their fathers.

And that’s what we need more of: the world giving them a chance to compare and contrast as needed, and develop their partnership not in a bubble but in the grander scheme of the universe and their futures as villains. It gives them the ammo to really be people (even if they are slightly bad people), and that is huge as we try and see them in some increasingly relevant ways. This issue maybe wasn’t the most explosive emotionally, but it did really feel like they were falling into their respective roles and becoming more full and well-rounded.

As a vital element of that, the boys are also connected into what’s happening with the Yellow Lantern’s Power Battery and the general rebuilding campaign on New Korugar. That’s another important development aligned with my whole “get them into the world” bit — I want the Sinister Sons to occupy some corner of the DCU proper, and so that what they do fully matters. Hanging out inside a space whale was fun, but we’re really seeing them stake a claim out there. Also, as they’re helping with New Korugar, could this complicate Lor’s own family drama and not getting to be a part of New Krypton’s development with his daddy dearest? The layers, they keep on coming.

Sinister Sons

Courtesy of DC Comics.

Also across my other reviews, I’ve continually admired the work of Georgiev (alongside colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Rob Leigh). The art team has expertly captured the bright and playful tone this book needed to really excel (and where the Super Sons comparisons really mattered and perhaps resonated the most appropriately). Now, issue #5 may not be the most spectacular of this run visually (how can it when there were space pirates in issue #4?), but it nonetheless did some really important things.

That includes a really neat intro part that’s focused on Sinestro and Sinson. You can already see most of it in this review, but I’ll still say it was a powerful way to distill and depict some of the daddy drama of this book in a really interesting way. For a story about growing up with evil, distant dads, there’s not been a lot of overwhelming or overly apparent tension, but this intro presents those energies in a decidedly playful manner, and I love that approach. It keeps the book fun and breezy as much as it really cuts deep into what these boys really want and the kind of sadness that comes in loving and admiring a paternal supervillain.

This issue also had some of the best face work and general depictions of this run. The boys come off once more as both bratty and intense and also playful, and that’s another way the visuals try and explore and even just hint at some of the core themes and emotions here without having to broadcast it all. Even Sinestro comes off more personable, and even slightly silly in a few key moments, and I love how that extends and augments his range just as much as it makes him all the more effective in this role of father figure. They’re little touches, yeah, but it’s nice to see this book really delve into the humanity here even as it still feels so vivid and fantastical.

Sinister Sons

Courtesy of DC Comics.

But perhaps my favorite scene of the entire issue comes at the end, with a kind of “let’s get ready” montage between both Sinister Sons. It’s a dumb, mostly quick little section, but it just has so much intent and power baked right in. It’s a way to see how the boys relate and still maintain their individuality; how they’re each faring into the grand finale; and even gives them a certain depth and maturity that shows that they’re fully developing here even as we continue to remain connected to their youth and what that means for this larger narrative. It’s another way this book uses the art not just to entertain and offer humor, but lay the groundwork for the continually dynamic and potent emotions further informing this fun adventure story.

Sinister Sons‘ sixth and final issue could result in an especially fun but dangerous confrontation. While I’m excited to see how that further extends the boys’ partnerships and grows them as viable characters for subsequent stories, issue #5 was nonetheless still a big success. It gave us the depth, commitment, and the path forward we needed from this book, and it did so with ample joy and humor. I already feel like Sinister Sons is family, and no matter how further they grow (or don’t), I’m just so dang glad to see them mucking about in the big, wide universe.

'Sinister Sons' #5 reaches its potential and swings for the cosmic fences
‘Sinister Sons’ #5 reaches its potential and swings for the cosmic fences
Sinister Sons #5
The penultimate issue of 'Sinister Sons' checks all the most important boxes on the way to a potent and exciting finale.
Reader Rating0 Votes
The story has really started to feel important and consequential, and that is a win.
The art really is such a huge part of this book's sense of warmth, excitement, and overarching potential.
This book continues to be as much a thrill ride as an increasingly potent look at family/fathers.
There's not a lot of overtly exciting things, and the more subtle/deliberate pace could be an issue.
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