The third movement of the Krakoan age, Destiny of X, showed us what the world looked like post-Hickman.

Some aspects leaned back towards the traditional superhero, like the Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz X-Men. A huge conflict developed with the Eternals spilling into the AXE: Judgment Day event. Different permutations of space and Otherworldly adventures continued. Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, Robert Gill & co. gave us further insight into Wolverine and the increasingly dysfunctional world surrounding X-Force. And the nuts and bolts of Krakoan and Arakko politics and society were built through Legion of X, Immortal X-Men, and X-Men: Red serving as a kind of backbone to the progression of the line.

Those latter three coming to a point in a crossover, briefly becoming Nightcrawlers, Immoral X-Men, and Storm & The Brotherhood of Mutants, to help set a spark that brought about the Fall.

We rule the world. Unfortunately, some flatscans are so dense it hasn’t quite sunk in yet…”

Sins of Sinister (please see below for the full creative teams) is an event in the vein of Age of Apocalypse, where the mainline universe was sidelined for a bit as it explored a new timeline where Sinister won. With a twist. Spinning out of Immortal X-Men, Sinister had been experimenting with his Moira Engine (clones of Moira MacTaggert that he could use to set reset points in reality) to ascend to Dominion-status. When the Quiet Council found out, all hell broke lose, but he’d left a snake in the garden.

At the beginning of House of X / Powers of X, through Inferno, and beyond, the storytelling technique of cycles, of repeating events in new contexts, really became common. From the resurrection sequences to Xavier & Moira on the bench to Destiny & Mystique confronting Moira, that continues here with a similar flow to Powers of X with each month’s instalment of books in a different time frame (+10/100/1000 years). Kickstarts the seed of the Sinister betrayal from there too. And lifts an idea from The Onslaught Revelation in Sinister introducing a complication to the resurrection process of his own DNA.

Only through winning, Sinister finds out that he’s lost, with the Sinister versions of the other mutants essentially going into business for themselves. On top of the other high level Nathaniel Essex variations vying for that Dominion spot as well. Toss in some wild ideas of genetic tech, galactic empire expansion, and the magical problem with Nightcrawler and this was like a thousand different ideas thrown at the reader. It was fun.

The future is set. We will win.”

I also quite like how they approached the art duties in the event.

While the writers rotate through their respective former books, with Kieron Gillen serving point on the bookends, each time frame more or less has its own artist assigned. Lucas Werneck beautifully holds down the start (with what happens in the first few years to much of the world done by the guest artists below) and end. Paco Medina (with Walden Wong & Victor Olazaba pitching in inking his line art on the third part of that cycle) handles the +10 time frame and part of the end. Andrea Di Vito tackles the +100. And Alessandro Vitti most of +1000 with Lorenzo Tammetta and Phillip Sevy taking the third part of that time. It gives each time period a nice consistency in visuals. I especially like the darkness to Vitti’s work, suiting the lead up to the final moments of the reality.

This approach is mirrored with the colourists, although there’s more of a consistency between their work. Bryan Valenza sets a rather colourful palette at the beginning, but as the crossover progresses, the brightness dims and a colour scheme of blues and reds becomes a bit more dominant. Nice work overall from the entire team.

Clayton Cowles handles the lion’s share of lettering through the crossover, with Ariana Maher tackling specifically the Storm & The Brotherhood of Mutants title. Both maintaining the style Cowles set out originally in House of X / Powers of X. Though there are some interesting variations with future effects, both in the lettering and in the text/info pages that add a nice flavour to the story.

This is my story. Your story is over.”

I feel like Sins of Sinister could have been much larger than it was. That the Doctor Stasis and Orchis aspect were interestingly shuffled off fairly quickly at the beginning. Granted, that story was pretty much part of the overarching Krakoa era tale and what would happen in the last Hellfire Gala feeding into the Fall of X, so it’s understandable why it was left alone. Though I can imagine a world where the entire X-line fed into the event. I admire their restraint to leave it with the three books.

That restraint also leaves it as a fairly refined, focused story, though. One that plays with some of the mad possibilities inherent since the beginning of the Krakoan era and puts a nice Sinister twist on them. And feels like a spiritual end to the Sinister story that Kieron Gillen and Carlos Pacheco began all the way back in 2011’s Uncanny X-Men #1.

I should probably also note that a new softcover edition of the book is arriving in stores this Wednesday, 26 June 2024.

Sins of Sinister

Classic Comic Compendium: SINS OF SINISTER

Sins of Sinister
Writers: Kieron Gillen, Si Spurrier & Al Ewing
Artists: Lucas Werneck, Paco Medina, Andrea Di Vito, Alessandro Vitti, Lorenzo Tammetta, Phillip Sevy, Walden Wong, Victor Olazaba, Geoffrey Shaw, Marco Checchetto, Juan Jose Ryp, David Baldeon, Travel Foreman, Carlos Gomez, Federico Vicentini, David Lopez, Joshua Cassara & Stefano Caselli
Colourists: Bryan Valenza, Jay David Ramos, Chris Sotomayor, Jim Charalampidis, Rachelle Rosenberg & Rain Beredo
Letterers: VC’s Clayton Cowles & Ariana Maher
Design: Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 19 2023 (collection) | January 25 – April 26 2023 (original issues)
Available collected in Sins of Sinister

Read past entries in the Classic Comic Compendium!