It’s been a funny year for me as a fan of the X-Men. I really bought into the Jonathan Hickman-led Nation of Krakoa story and all its offshoots for a while, but for me, I’ve felt that the world has been muddied somewhat with so many books happening, and I’ve missed Hickman’s cerebral storytelling.
The one book that I feel has really maintained the original tone Hickman set out with has been Immortal X-Men. Written by Kieron Gillen, the series has dealt with the political machinations of Krakoa’s Quiet Council, with comings and goings of members and the recent additions of Destiny and Hope. Earlier this week, I went back reread the first 10 issues of the series to get ready for the next big X-event, and the level of storytelling intrigue and consistency that Gillen and the artists he’s worked with on Immortal X-Men has been outstanding.
At the root of Immortal X-Men, and now its spinoff event Sins Of Sinister, has been Nathaniel Essex aka Mister Sinister. I’ve loved this character since his original appearance in Inferno back in Uncanny X-Men. Watching him develop from a horrific meddler to the mad scientist he is has been so much fun, and all of his work has now come to fruition in Sins of Sinister. In the first issue, we see how Sinister’s long game as a member of the Quiet Council has paid off in the grandest of ways (you’ll have to read to find out what I mean). But even a master, patient planner can’t get it right all the time.
Written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Lucas Wernek (alongside a host of guest artists), Sins of Sinister #1 is a fun read, with a caveat. You really need to be up on your Immortal X-Men lore to get the most out of this book. If you haven’t been reading that series, I think there’s a lot happening here that could be confusing; that’s one of the reasons I went and reread Immortal X-Men. On first read of Sins of Sinister #1, while I got the gist of what was happening and what had happened, I needed that reminder of everything that led up to it. The potential for new readers who see a #1 and think they can just jump in is there, but without that background knowledge, Sins of Sinister #1 isn’t completely accessible.
However, as I said above, Immortal X-Men has been a fantastic series since its launch, so, if you haven’t been reading it, go and grab the back issues and then dive into Sins of Sinister #1; you can’t go wrong with the story being told.