Imagine you’re a kid out on a family shopping trip. You spend time in your favourite store, reading books about castles and far-off places. All too soon, the fun ends abruptly when your mother announces it’s time to go clothes shopping. Suddenly, the ground vanishes beneath you and you hurtle from the sky, passing dinosaurs on your descent. Hang on, dinosaurs?! That’s precisely what happens to protagonist Zeph in Sinavore #1 as dinosaurs witness him tumbling from a meteor.
Writer Joshua Spiller takes us back to prehistoric times for a wacky adventure with a fearsome foe, the gargantuan T-Rex, Sina. It’s a short and snappy story that establishes its heroes and villains quickly and effectively. The opening grabs your attention right from the start. Unfortunately for Zeph, the meteor also gives Sina a deadly evolution. He is vast and skeletal, glowing with an otherworldly green fire. To make matters worse, he also gains the ability to fire a giant laser at his foes. It’s like when Maleficent unleashes her dragon form in the classic Sleeping Beauty. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to cross either beast.
It’s not all bad news for Zeph though. When he touches the remnant of the meteor, he gains some of the same mysterious laser power. The meteor itself is intriguing and appears to be sentient in some capacity. Spiller teases the reader with this brief glimpse. Who or what created the meteor, and what are its full effects? Zeph also gains the ability to communicate with dinosaurs; I particularly enjoy the addition of Zeph’s new dino friend, Ovi. He is endearing and loyal, and a previous captive of the tyrant Sina. The pair bond very quickly and are a fun and unconventional duo.
Without fully spoiling the story, Spiller leaves the door open for a multitude of adventures. He wraps up the initial conflict while teasing many possible eras that the meteor has passed through. Speaking of which, how exactly did Zeph end up travelling through time? Well, we don’t actually find out. It’s my only gripe about #1. But since this is only the beginning, there are various possibilities in the coming future.
Visually, Sinavore is very engaging. Artist Richard J. Waugh and colourist Hebab Shafi perfectly capture the aesthetic and feel of the time when dinosaurs ruled the roost. They paint dense forests and mountains against fiery sunsets and mounds of dirt. One of my favourite visual elements is the depiction of Sina after he is supercharged by the meteor. The eerie greens surrounding his gigantic bones make him as mystifying as he is dangerous.
I also like the choice to depict Zeph carrying the meteor fragment in his chest. It’s almost like an emblem of power. In a way, it’s also reminiscent of a superhero’s badge, which fits Zeph’s sort-of origin story. Letterer Toben Racicot also does an excellent job at creating dynamic visuals. The variation of colour and styles lends itself to the larger-than-life story. I love the font used to introduce “The Great Fragmenting” in the epilogue. It instantly makes you think of old maps and documents and adds to the aesthetic of the panels.
Overall, Sinavore is a fun sci-fi story that creates a lot of intrigue with some bold characters. I would love to see some of the other eras that the comic teases at the end. What kind of chaos can this power cause in ancient civilisations or outer space? Personally, I’d like to find out. The teaser also suggests the idea of new characters and standalone adventures. This might be a great way to slowly reveal more about the meteor. That being said, I also want to find out what happens to Zeph and Ovi next too!
If you’re a fan of sci-fi adventures, then I definitely recommend checking out Sinavore #1 over at Gumroad. If you could time travel, which era would you visit? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!