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Published December 20, 2022

What You Need to Know for 'Sins of Sinister'

All the comics to read ahead of the X-Men crossover event that Sinister has been plotting since the beginning...

Within 2019’s HOUSE OF X and POWERS OF X, the X-Men’s status quo changed in significant ways when Marvel’s mutants relocated to the sentient island of Krakoa, formed their own nation, and mastered resurrection. Even those who’d formerly been villains were among the island’s inhabitants, and classic bad guy Nathaniel Essex, AKA Mister Sinister, found himself very much in demand as his genetic repository proved key to creating Krakoa’s Resurrection Protocols. That role in the nation’s creation earned Sinister a place on the budding nation’s governing body, the Quiet Council

However, morally murky geneticist Essex does love his schemes, and his machinations are about to come to fruition in crossover SINS OF SINISTER, which will explore a dark future brought about by the titular villain’s plans. With SINS OF SINSTER turning IMMORTAL X-MEN into IMMORAL X-MEN, X-MEN RED into STORM & THE BROTHERHOOD OF MUTANTS, and LEGION OF X into NIGHTCRAWLERS, here’s what you need to know about the stories of those associated books so far. Dive in on Marvel Unlimited, and get ready for the universe-melting X-event that will make the AGE OF APOCALYPSE look like the X-Men Swimsuit Special!

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SINISTER’S MACHINATIONS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN IMMORTAL X-MEN

IMMORTAL X-MEN opened with a flashback to Paris, 1919, where precognitive mutant Destiny approached Sinister and warned him of a coming war and their intertwined fates. While that version of Sinister mysteriously expired moments later, the agreement they made to work together then has had major ramifications in the Krakoan era now.

Throughout IMMORTAL X-MEN, particularly its opening arc through issue #4, Sinister has engineered key events to mold Krakoa in specific ways that fit his and Destiny’s plans, including getting Hope Summers on Krakoa’s Quiet Council. In addition to that, Sinister has been secretly continuing his experiments with chimeras—genetically engineered combinations of mutants—and established new cloning facilities on the island. Using his technology, Sinister cloned Moira MacTaggert, whose mutant ability is to reset a timeline upon death. And, he’s been gathering information from those failed timelines and using them to further his plans, seemingly in service of his agreement with Destiny.

IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #1
IMMORTAL X-MEN (2022) #1

Most recently, Sinister, with help from the MacTaggert clones, assassinated Hope and several members of the Quiet Council using a psychic bomb. This resulted in the deaths of several people key to the Resurrection Protocols and has effectively disrupted them. Just what’s going to happen to him isn’t clear right now, but the remaining Quiet Council members—Destiny, Mystique, Sebastian Shaw, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Kate Pryde—are hunting him down.

But there’s even more to the drama, as there are mysteries surrounding Sinister himself. In X-MEN (2021), the titular team faced off against Doctor Stasis, a key member of the anti-mutant organization Orchis. As the X-Men soon learned, Doctor Stasis is a clone of Sinister. However, unlike the Krakoan Sinister, who has a diamond on his forehead, this one has a club. IMMORTAL X-MEN indicated that, in the past, Essex created four clones of himself, with each corresponding to a different suit from a deck of playing cards. That means there are likely two more clones in the world: One associated with hearts and the other with spades. Just who they are isn’t clear right now.

THE LEGION OF X HAVE BEEN KRAKOA’S PEACEKEEPING FORCE

Cover to LEGION OF X (2022) #2.
Cover to LEGION OF X (2022) #2.

Founded by Nightcrawler, the Legionnaires are a group of mutants dedicated to keeping Krakoa safe. While the group’s line-up has some heavy hitters, one of the most important is David Haller, AKA Legion, whose incredible ability to manipulate reality once brought about the AGE OF APOCALYPSE. Now, though, Legion is in control of his abilities and has been using them to maintain ALTAR, a bubble reality that serves as the Legionnaires’ base. Still, his relationship with his father, Professor Charles Xavier, is more strained than ever, as the X-Men’s founder fears the damage his son’s incredible powers could do were he to become unstable again.

So far, the Legionnaires have proven successful in protecting Krakoa. Their first big mission in LEGION OF X saw them taking down a Skinjacker that was possessing mutant bodies. After, during event A.X.E.: JUDGMENT DAY, Legion fought the powerful Uranos, protecting Planet Arakko from complete destruction in the process. Nightcrawler also played a key role in stopping JUDGMENT DAY by helping in the resurrection of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. Currently, the team is investigating a potential mutagenic catalyst that caused Nightcrawler to get a pair of horns, which has led them to Jackie Chopra’s Black Knight.

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In the background of LEGION OF X, a mysterious woman named Mother Righteous has been enacting some unknown plan of her own via the astral plane. Initially, Mother Righteous offered to give Legion even more incredible powers, though he rejected her. She then went to Banshee, who accepted her gift and became Vox Ignis, a Ghost Rider-like being. After Mister Sinister murdered Nightcrawler to get his horns to disappear, Banshee, working on behalf of Mother Righteous, appeared to Wagner pre-resurrection and told him to protect Haller. It’s not currently clear just why.

LEGION OF X (2022) #5
LEGION OF X (2022) #5

THE RED PLANET’S X-MEN WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE

Focusing primarily on the mutants of Arakko, the early issues of X-MEN RED explored Magneto leaving Krakoa to join Storm on the former Mars. Those stories dealt specifically with the politics surrounding the Great Ring, that planet’s governing body. Early on, Magneto and Storm opted to make themselves ineligible for resurrection, rendering any potential deaths they might suffer permanent. And, soon enough, a death came to pass. During JUDGMENT DAY, Uranos ripped out Magneto’s heart, which eventually killed the Master of Magnetism. That resulted in a major shuffling of the Great Ring’s members plus a power vacuum.

X-MEN RED (2022) #5
X-MEN RED (2022) #5

Following JUDGMENT DAY, X-MEN RED has shifted focus to Cable’s investigation of S.W.O.R.D. leader Abigail Brand, who has been manipulating both Krakoa and Orchis for her own ends. Assisting her in her plans is the mysterious Orbis Stellaris, a geneticist of unknown origins. Together, Brand and Stellaris stole a copy of Cable’s techno-organic virus. That theft prompted Cable to look further into just what the two are up to.

However, while Cable has been occupied with that investigation, Brand has manipulated events to start a major galactic war involving the Shi’ar and the resurrected, and extremely unstable, Vulcan. Just what that could mean for Krakoa isn’t clear, but with Vulcan involved, it certainly won’t be good.

X-MEN RED (2022) #9
X-MEN RED (2022) #9

For more on the lead-up to SINS OF SINISTER, pick up IMMORTAL X-MEN #9 now and issue #10 when that title hits shelves on January 18. The event officially kicks off with SINS OF SINISTER #1, by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck, on January 25.

Destiny of X
Rising out of the ashes of INFERNO and emerging out of the time-travelling mission in X LIVES OF WOLVERINE/X DEATHS OF WOLVERINE comes the Second Krakoan Age of X-Men: Destiny of X. Mutantkind’s future is reshaped once more, as Krakoa’s greatest triumphs and most crushing challenges still lie ahead.
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