Oh, Sins of Sinister: Dominion #1 is bonkers.
Hello, again! Why, it’s been a scant four months since I reviewed Sins of Sinister #1, a delightfully-silly apocalypse-inducing send-up of the much-revered House/Powers of X, and here we are again, right at the end of it.
Surprisingly, the issue is pretty accessible despite my having read precisely zero of the intervening chapters. A short opening promises some truly bugnuts carnage as ‘the’ Mister Sinister (for whatever value that has) stands on a falling, burning satellite besieged by pyramid-shaped ships and a goddamn Ghost Rider’d Galactus, fully aware that it’s all his fault the universe went to shit and totally unrepentant.
To my absolute delight, Sinister and Moira MacTaggert (the timeline-resetting master planner behind HOX/POX) have negotiated a way into the satellite due to some precognisant tomfoolery concerning Mystique’s wife, Irene. See, when they shot the Juggernaut out of a cannon in the first issue? Irene had figured out where he would end up, and thus he smashes the doors open for our “heroes”.
What follows is a lot of vamping. A frankly staggering amount of vamping. Almost every character is ‘a’ Sinister, so this means numerous longish conversations between preening, queeny supervillains as battle is done on a cosmic scale.
Which unfortunately brings us to the chief limitation of this issue – it’s not particularly great at demonstrating that scale. Professor X (Sinister Edition) turns into a big ball and I’m not sure if that’s a planet or some other thing. There’s events that turn the world and history upside-down that aren’t conveyed with much more than a couple of panels and some worthy exposition. It deflates itself, like a prickly balloon.
All that said, there’s still a lot to enjoy. Every couple of pages, something absolutely barmy happens – like new character Jon Ironfire, who turns his blood into metal, cutting his own forehead and bleeding an anti-telepathy helmet (you know, like Magneto has!), or the ritual sacrifice of anti-Sinister Mother Righteous (oh, it’s too cute that she’s got a heart logo instead of a diamond, bravo), or the precise mechanism by which Mister Sinister comes to the conclusion that he wasted 1000 years and countless lives.
Artists Paco Medina & Lucas Werneck are doing great work here, despite their combined problems with scope and scale. Everything feels distinctly scuzzy and gross, which is helped along by Bryan Valenza’s lurid “everything is a bit red” colour palette. The whole event is of course undone – you saw that coming, naturally – but it’s undone in a very interesting, calculated way by writer Keiron Gillen, a way that introduces HOX/POX breakout character Rasputin IV into the mix and means that someone – possibly several someones – have come out of Sins of Sinister wiser, more adept, and more dangerous.
Except of course for poor Nathaniel Essex, who realises he sucks shit. Hilarious.