A Review By Jesse Baker
In spite of my initial misgivings, Kieron Gillen’s “Immortal X-Men” run has been a welcome breathe of fresh air, even with the editorially mandate “Judgement Day” crossover. Whereas Gerry Duggan is largely spinning his wheels in his “X-Men” book, Kieron Gillen’s “Immortal X-Men” is moving stuff forward even if the pay-off seems to be another sort of “Alternate Future” scenario with “Sins of Sinister”. Of which, the kick-off to it begins with this issue.
Though it’s supposed to be Kitty Pryde’s spotlight issue, Mister Sinister is still the central figure for the ninth issue of “Immortal X-Men”. Though still pushing the obnoxiously silly camp vision of Mister Sinister, Gillen is at least restoring Sinister’s agency with his new “save scumming” gimmick and having him being return to a life of an antagonist .
Still, Sinister’s ultimate betrayal of the Quiet Council is partially justified, as we know that they are only moving to eliminate him due to Cyclops recent discovery that Doctor Stasis looks like Mister Sinister under his mask. Doctor Stasis claims that he is the real Mister Sinister and that the version aligned with the X-Men is a fake. We know that is not exactly true though, as Immortal X-Men #8 revealed that BOTH Sinister and Stasis are clones of the long dead Nathan Essex (not exactly the best retcon, though it’s clearly Gillen trying to reconcile the pre-Hickman take on the character with the versions Chris Claremont, Paul Jenkins, and Gillen himself fashioned for the character and his backstory with Jonathon Hickman’s retcon take). While certain members (coughEmmaFrostcough) know Sinister has continued to do bad things (his Chimera program and actions in the pages of “Hellions”), most of the other members shouldn’t be gung ho about going after Sinister if we are to believe that everyone really did agree to forgive Sinister his laundry list of crimes and atrocities in exchange for his role in creating the resurrection process.
While issue is supposed to be Kitty Pryde’s spotlight issue, Mister Sinister dominates the plot and narration as he repeatedly tries to destroy the Quiet Council at the hearing over his alleged treasons. Tries and repeatedly fails, in increasingly humiliating fashion. We find out more about the save scumming equipment Sinister has set up using Moira McTaggart clones, that Sinister has only a set number of clones/save slots he can use, and that he also has the severed head of Dark Beast (Hank McCoy’s evil “Age of Apocalypse” counterpart) hooked up to his device. Which seems to have been thrown in to joss the current fan theory that the Beast who’s repeatedly crossed multiple lines and gotten hundreds of thousands of people dead, is Dark Beast in disguise.
In the end, Mister Sinister kills Emma Frost, Professor Xavier, Exodus, and Hope Summers with help from a telepathic brain bomb after arranging for Storm to leave the meeting prior to it starting. The death of Hope in particular, pretty much means the end of mutant resurrection and makes it harder for the X-Men to get rid of Sinister, since they’ll need his regular cloning tech now more than every. As Mister Sinister flees, we learn that the X-Men do have some (untested) alternate resurrection tech in case members of the Five are killed off, as Kitty Pryde and the rest of the Quiet Council give chase to Sinister.
It will be interesting to see how this ends, though advance promotion for “Sins of Sinister” don’t have me very excited. But we have a ton of balls in play and it’s nice to see Mister Sinister return to the forefront as an X-Men villain. The move to have all of the X-Men villains join the X-Men on Krakoa and basically give them all general amnesty was a move that handicapped the franchise, so moving Sinister back to an enemy of the X-Men at least solves that problem somewhat.