The Mutants Shine Bright Like a Diamond in Sins of Sinister #1

It was inevitable; the moment mutant leaders made a deal with Mister Sinister to create their Krakoan utopia way back in 2019’s House of X, readers knew it was only a matter of time before he would unveil some sort of dastardly plan. I mean, his name is Mister Sinister for Hope’s sake. That plan is finally coming to fruition in Sins of Sinister #1, the first issue of an event spearheaded by writer Kieron Gillen. This issue is drawn by Lucas Werneck alongside a murderer’s row of special guest artists, colored by Bryan Valenza, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles.

The issue begins with a flash forward to ten years in the future, where Sinister is in complete control of Krakoa and resurrection, parodying the already iconic pose that opened House of X #1 and was paralleled in Inferno #1

We then return back to the present to pick up where we left off from Immortal X-Men #10’s cliffhanger ending; Xavier with a Sinister red diamond on his forehead. The caped geneticist graciously narrates to his AI, and us, that his dedication to killing Hope was so that he could manipulate her DNA before resurrection, ensuring that her and everyone she assists in bringing back will be tainted and subservient to Sinister. It’s been over a decade since Kieron Gillen implemented his fun and cohesive take on the character, and this story feels like the ultimate culmination of who the character has become. He’s bitchy and drama-obsessed, but still an actual genius with the patience necessary to find the perfect time to strike.

The takeover of the Quiet Council was just the beginning though. The more mutants who were resurrected and the more humans that accepted an X-gene so that they themselves could have immortality, the more Sinister is able to accomplish. In an incredible group of pages, we see Thanos, The Eternals, The Avengers, and more get taken down. This is big, dystopian storytelling at its finest, and shows incredible full-page work from the artists. Suddenly, it’s five years later in the timeline, and there is seemingly no one to stand in the villain’s way. I say seemingly because of course there is a resistance forming, and a Storm is coming for Mister Sinister.

Events like this can be proof of how the long-form storytelling that occurs in superhero comics can lead up to something incredibly impactful. Take Storm for example. Her dedication to Arakko going back to when Mars was first terraformed at the initial Hellfire Gala up through the removal of her own psychic backups so that she can’t be resurrected has now put her in a prime position to resist Sinister. Storm has not often been used to her full Omega potential, but the last couple of years of comics have allowed her to shine. We will see more of that in the pages of Storm and the Brotherhood of Mutants, but an astonishing first step is her linking her psyche to Lactuca’s infinite ocean to stop the Quiet Council from mentally taking her over. My only gripe in the entire issue is that it would have taken Storm five years to confront them in the first place.

The rest of the issue sees Sinister continue to clean house of anyone who could oppose him on Earth, while also working on Chimeras, clone hybrids that combine multiple mutant abilities. These also appeared in the Powers of X timeline, and seem to be part of Sinister’s plan to achieve Dominion status, another thing explored in glorious Hickman-graph detail in POX. But obstacles are already starting to appear as the issue closes and Sinister’s lab of Moira clones (that he uses the same way Save Points are used in a video game) has been stolen. Did Storm do this? Maybe it was the Sinister-ized Quiet Council that are starting to voice their own opinions. And of course, we can’t forget about the Sinisters of different suits that are popping up.

Kieron Gillen recently demonstrated his skill in guiding a crossover event last year with Judgment Day, and the trick to making that work was having such a strong focus on character and inner turmoil. So even though the Sins of Sinister is confirmed to launch us up to 1000 years in the future of this world, I have no doubt that it will ultimately come down to character again. And even though most X-Men dystopias get unwritten, this one must surely have some connection to the ominous-sounding Fall of X event happening later this year. Where the Marvel Universe will be at the end of this is anyone’s guess, but Sins 0f Sinister #1 is a sinfully good start.

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