Kieron Gillen Breaks Down the Twists & Turns of the 'Sins of Sinister' Finale
'Sins of Sinister: Dominion' writer Kieron Gillen and editor Jordan D. White reveal the impacts of Mister Sinister’s nightmare future on Krakoa and beyond.
The future of the Marvel Universe no longer belongs to Mister Sister—or any of his corrupted X-Men, for that matter. In SINS OF SINISTER: DOMINION (2023) #1, the timeline came to a bloody end when Sinister failed to achieve Dominion status and Moira MacTaggert destroyed the Moira Engine, restoring present-day Krakoa to the moment just after Sinister killed Charles Xavier, Emma Frost, Hope Summers, and Exodus in front of the whole Quiet Council. Despite this, SINS OF SINISTER has left its fingerprints all over the mutant nation… for better and for much, much worse.
Speaking to Marvel.com, SINS OF SINISTER mastermind Kieron Gillen and editor Jordan D. White broke down the events of DOMINION and what they mean for Krakoa’s future. They heaped praise on collaborators Al Ewing and Si Spurrier, explained why Mother Righteous was the right winner (for now), and delighted in Mister Sinister’s ultimate punishment. They also teased Rasputin IV’s role moving forward, hinted at what’s to come in FALL OF X, and so much more.
MARVEL.COM: SINS OF SINISTER really opened you up to explore extremely bizarre, out-of-this-world concepts. Of all the far-flung ideas you got to include, what was the one that you're proudest of? Why?
KIERON GILLEN: I think we all had a lot of fun with crafting messy nightmares. I was delighted seeing what Si and Al came up with. It felt like a nerdy freestyle rap battle.
I mean, Si’s Heirburst Bomb is a pun on a whole different level. The moment when you realize that Al is going to do an Orbis Stellaris as a Death Star beat? So much good stuff from both of ’em. Teleporting a solar system? Headshotting a Ghost Rider Galactus with a Juggernaut fired 1000 years previously? Al and Si just attacked the page and I was delighted and/or horrified, and knew I was in the best, bad company.
For my own stuff, it’s a tossup between Emma Frost and the Exodus worlds. Emma Frost, becoming a living red diamond and then ending up as a red diamond in a forehead of a huge Emma. It was originally a mile-high, diamond Juggernaut clone of Emma, but Alessandro [Vitti] took it in a robotic direction and Al had the inspired Mother Mold beat, but the core triple pun still is there.
For the Exodus worlds, it was just a really creepy idea, for me. Whole planets covered with clones with their minds trapped in endless cycles of chanting, all feeding a single Exodus… and there’s loads of different Exoduses, all facing off against one another. Talk about a bleak fate.
JORDAN D. WHITE: I agree with everything Kieron said. The whole thing was a really exciting formalist experiment, and one I think all three of these gents jumped into with gusto. The idea of telling their three issues decades and then centuries apart is not an easy task to pull off and still tell a satisfying story, but they nailed it. Every single issue has a bonkers thing that I adore that we only could do with this sort of “gloves off” setup.
But I also love that this story is not one that just vanishes into the ether—as you can see from the last segment of DOMINION, this impacts the new timeline in big ways, from Sinister being defeated, to Rasputin’s appearance, to Mother Righteous’ expanding library, to that killer final page shock.
MARVEL.COM: What is something that your many collaborators brought to the table that shocked or surprised you? Something that just absolutely stood out to you!
JORDAN D. WHITE: Ha ha—Kieron answered this question in his first answer! No psychic abilities there. It’s hard to pick favorite moments, but if I had to, I would say year 100 was my top era: Si’s devastating baby plot and surprise, Kieron’s betrayal of Hope by Exodus, and Al’s revenge double-cross of Destiny were all so excellent. Which is not say year 1000 does not also rule!
KIERON GILLEN: I mean, there was no way I was going to not mention my stuff before what everyone else did, right? For a project all about the monomaniacal ego of one man going out of control and ruining the galaxy, the execution is the exact opposite. We’re in this together—in a good way, not a ‘We All Have a Supervillain’s Programmed Evil Genes’ way.
MARVEL.COM: In the race for Dominion, Mother Righteous came out on top. What made her the right Sinister to take home the prize? And how worried should we be for the Marvel Universe, especially with FALL OF X around the corner?
KIERON GILLEN: Well, she’s at the top at the moment. She’s certainly in the ascendant, but she’s not squatting out of time as a Dominion yet.
(Or is she? Maybe she is. The whole “Dominion exists outside of time and space” means whoever wins is already there, lurking. But you know what I mean.)
We leave SINS OF SINISTER with three Sinisters on the board. Mother Righteous has a lot of heat right now, but Stasis has all the present power of Orchis—which is only going to grow more prominent in the coming months. Which leaves Orbis Stellaris as the wild card.
We’ll be catching up with them in the Sinister 4 special shortly, where we get Stasis and Mother Righteous butting heads and coming to an understanding. As well as showing the expected machinations, that’s where we really show beneath the mask and what makes them tick.
Mother Righteous has her own vibe—it’s one reason why she makes such a great foil and victor in SINS OF SINISTER—but we get a chance to see how Stasis differs from Sinister here, as we delve into what the pair of them have been up to for the last 100+ years… and why they’re even doing it in the first place.
I probably should apologize for the Sinister 4 title. It’s about them as a larger entity, but it’s not as if there’s 4 of them in it. Sinister’s busy being a loser, in the Pit. I did kind of want to have the final Sinister 4 cover to have the number 4 marked out and replaced with a “3” to underline the point.
JORDAN D. WHITE: And I think, regardless of which Sinister is already successful at becoming a Dominion… the Universe should be extremely worried. And technically always should have been worried and will need to continue to worry forever.
KIERON GILLEN: Oh yeah. They’re all bad options.
MARVEL.COM: Mister Sinister absolutely got his just desserts. What makes the conclusion to SINS OF SINISTER: DOMINION the perfect punishment for him?
JORDAN D. WHITE: It is so excellent that he ends up in the Pit, exactly as he planned… except this time, he’s screwed.
KIERON GILLEN: When planning SINS OF SINISTER, that’s one of the scenes which I was most looking forward to writing for exactly that reason, Jordan. He made a machine to create time loops, and now he’s been crushed by one. Of course it does.
Hell, you’ve got some classic Boy Who Cried Wolf energy too—when he’s actually got something of import to tell them, of course no one believes him. Why would anyone believe a snake like Sinister?
MARVEL.COM: Rasputin IV also makes a major comeback during SINS OF SINISTER. What was most important for you to bring to her character as you fleshed her out a little more?
KIERON GILLEN: Same as any new character, really—giving them a perspective and a thing they bring to a scene, and motivation. Make sure she gives something to a scene that no one else does.
She’s a true hero, but created by an absolute monster. She’s been fed stories of the glories and wonders of Krakoa… and now she’s here. She’s this big serious character, who has a fangirl streak about the place she finds herself. That hopefully will be interesting.
Plus? She’s a good person who has jumped from working from one truly bad person to having seemingly made a deal with another. That’s going to be interesting too.
MARVEL.COM: Independent of the Moira Engine, Moira MacTaggert herself had a role to play in SINS OF SINISTER's conclusion. What led you to give her such a critical role in this event?
KIERON GILLEN: I think if you are mechanized in as horrific a way as Moira was by Sinister, you get to have that moment. As far as I’m concerned, from the moment I conceived of the Moira engine, Moira would have to be the person to turn it off.
MARVEL.COM: I want to touch on a moment I loved in SINS OF SINISTER: DOMINION: Jon Ironfire forging himself a Magneto helmet to face off with Xavier. Tell me a little about how this moment came together and why Jon was the best vehicle for it.
JORDAN D. WHITE: First off, we need to praise Al Ewing some more because Jon Ironfire was 100% his brainchild. He had the idea to introduce a new character in year 10 that we see again in 100 and 1000 who we—well, solicits for upcoming issues of X-MEN RED have already revealed this, so I will go ahead and say it—who we would then get to meet again for the “first time” in the present.
I think he made Ironfire terrifically interesting in SINS OF SINISTER, but there is lots more to learn about him when he shows up in the present. But Kieron, how did that scene in DOMINION come together for you?
KIERON GILLEN: Second of all, praise Al Ewing. From the second I got to write Jon, I could tell he was onto something here. He just really has a strong voice, and was a natural to write… and also just has a cool power set to play with.
That’s really where the beat came from—it just emerged from the scene. We have a true believer in Storm, who is carrying the mantle of Magneto. He’s close to the last person standing after Al had finished STORM AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS #3. I’ve got a world-sized Xavier-psychic projection attacking him. I want things to get even more desperate… but also for him to survive.
As with so much in SINS, it’s just looking at the character and thinking how that all ties together. He can make any metal. Magneto’s helmet is metal. And now we have Xavier having the image of his oldest friend coming back to face him.
All roads lead to MAGNETO IS RIGHT, basically.
MARVEL.COM: Now that this nightmare future has come to a close, what do you hope readers take away from SINS OF SINISTER?
KIERON GILLEN: What happens if Krakoa goes wrong? Well, this is what happens if it goes really wrong. For all his sins, Sinister believes mutants’ potential. Potential isn’t always a good thing but it’s certainly a thing.
I think basically a primary duty of any revolution is to ensure you don’t end up with Stalin in charge. It happened once. It can never happen again.
JORDAN D. WHITE: I think in many ways this was the enormous shoe that we’ve all been waiting to drop since Sinister showed up in POWERS OF X #4 all those years ago. Every reader said, “Oh this is not going to go well…”
Xavier and Magneto made a deal with the devil. They got some amazing, miraculous things out of it… but so did the Devil. So the question will be: who got the better end of the deal? Was more good or evil done?
MARVEL.COM: What does your future role in Krakoa look like, moving forward from SINS OF SINISTER?
KIERON GILLEN: From now until FALL, I’m dealing with the fallout of SINS OF SINISTER. You’ll see where we left it, with a full five of the Council in the Pit. Things cascade messily, and people try to hold it together.
And then the fall.
And then things get really fun. Perhaps not for all our characters, but certainly some of them. Maybe one of them. Two, if you squint.
Witness the end of an era and the beginning of a new one in SINS OF SINISTER: DOMINION #1, on sale now!
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