The story title of POWERS OF X #4 is “Something Sinister” and I think we all know what that means! Well, Hickman did not disappoint. Even though Mr. Sinister has been mentioned in previous issues of POWERS OF X, PoX#4 marks the first time he’s been introduced on panel. However, while his allotted time in PoX #4 is show stealing, Mr. Sinister is not the primary focus. We also learn how the mutants became allies and eventual inhabitants of the island Krakoa. Plus, we take another leap into the future to continue with the Phalanx storyline!
POWERS OF X #4 gives us a lot of setup for the future of this X-Men storyline. Let’s take a look at what those setups are in POWERS OF X #4: “Something Sinister”!
Enter Bar Sinister
PoX #4 opens in the time of X0: The X-Men Year One. During this time, Professor X and Magneto are putting plans into place to set up a safe haven for mutants using the knowledge of alternate futures given to them by Moira MacTaggert. While Bar Sinister, the headquarters of Nathaniel Essex himself, would seem like the last place they would go to achieve their goal, they approach the fortress nonetheless. Upon arriving at the door, the two are met by one of Sinister’s guards. To their surprise, the guard IS Mr. Sinister. Or looks like him, anyway. As the guard tells them, he is but one of many Mr. Sinisters (Misters Sinister?).
We don’t know if these are all different versions of Mr. Sinister from different realities or mere clones of the man himself. I came to the conclusion that it is a case of clones. However, this is only my personal theory as it is never definitively stated in the issue.
The Mister Sinister as guard forgets himself and makes an insulting remark about Professor X’s paralysis. After Magneto showing what that gets you — a magnetic throw across the room — the duo enter Bar uninvited.
A New Kind of Sinister in PoX #4
I’ll start this by saying I LOVE what Hickman has done with Mr. Sinister in this story. For years now, Mr. Sinister has kind of been written as a pretty two dimensional guy. He is a master geneticist with creating the perfect mutant. Typically this involves the use of, at least, Cyclops and Jean Grey’s DNA. There have been some stories that did not involve him doing that, but they were rare. Immoral geneticist with an enduring obsession with the Summers family has been the meat of his character. (There was that super different version of him in ULTIMATE X-MEN, but we don’t talk about that.) However, the Mr. Sinister we are met with in PoX #4 is unlike any Sinister I’ve seen before, and I am so here for it!
After a bit of confusion talking with another Sinister impostor, the real Mr. Sinister enters. Upon his entrance, he reveals his TRUE mutant powers: overthrowing tyrants and being absolutely fabulous. Magneto certainly agreed, heck the previous Sinister they were talking to said he loved his cape. At least there is some common ground going into this meeting! As you can tell, we are given a lot more of Sinister’s eccentric personality in this issue which is fantastic for readers. Charles and Magneto, however, are not so much interested in his personality.
Magneto and Xavier wish to work with Sinister by supplying him with mutant DNA, including theirs, for him to catalog. Sinister agrees almost immediately at which point Charles uses his powers to make Sinister forget them and forget they were even there until he tells Sinister to remember. Basically, Mr. Sinister will be doing what Charles asked of him, but won’t fully know why until Charles says so. So, why are Charles and Magneto working with Mr. Sinister? Well, at this point we don’t fully know. Like I said, PoX #4 is a giant set up comic. Let’s see some of the other set ups, shall we?
Meeting Krakoa in PoX #4
At this point in PoX #4 we jump ahead to X1: The X-Men Year 10. However, we do not pick back up where we left off in HOUSE OF X #4, but about a year prior. Charles Xavier and Cypher land the Black Bird on Krakoa, though Cypher at this point in time, knows not where they are. Cypher thinks the two may be on vacation, though Charles has nothing but work on his mind. Xavier brings Cypher to Krakoa and tasks him with deciphering the islands language and create legitimate conversation between mutants and Krakoa. Upon meeting Krakoa, Cypher is able to somewhat understand what the island is saying to him.
Krakoa tells him of its own origin, how it was once a much larger land mass called Okkara, until something happened. Unexplained elder beings rose from Okkara long ago, splitting the island in two, with the insinuated mission of conquering the world. These demons were stopped, however, by the warrior god in blue and his four soldiers alongside him. This warrior god in blue, as Krakoa knows him, is none other than Apocalypse. Apocalypse vanquishes these elder demons and does what he can to restore the damage they caused. However, he could not completely undo what the demons did, leaving Krakoa who was once two, now only one, and very much alone.
More Apocalypse Stories in HoX and PoX?
Later that day, Cypher officially agrees to stay on Krakoa and learn fully its language. He tells Professor X that it will take him roughly a year to complete this task. Okay, so this is an obvious origin of the mutant nation of Krakoa that we have seen throughout this whole run. So, what is this setting up? Well, during this portion of the issue we see a heroic and ancient version of Apocalypse along with what can assume are his original Four Horsemen. Not to mention the mysterious elder beings that he attacked. Could we be getting an Apocalypse origin comic in HoX/PoX? Who can truly say. All I know is, that particular story we merely got a taste of is not over by any means.
The Desire to Ascend
So, in our HoX-PoX Check series, we have barely touched on X3: The X-Men Year One Thousand. The reason is because up until this point, there wasn’t much to discuss. In PoX #1 we are introduced to this futuristic world where humanoid sentinels rule and humans/mutants are presumably all but extinct. Then, in PoX #2, we see that the new rulers of Earth are trying to, and succeed in, getting the attention of The Phalanx. The Phalanx is an intergalactic hive mind that merges with higher forms of technology (A.I. basically) throughout the universe. The process of merging these life forms into the Phalanx is called Ascension. At this point in the future, the rulers of Earth wish to Ascend and become a part of The Phalanx.
In PoX #4, we see that The Phalanx has interest in integrating the inhabitants of Earth into itself, though there is a problem. Phalanx can only integrate technology, and while this era’s humans have integrated a significant about of tech into themselves, they remain mostly biological in make up. There is a solution, however. If the inhabitants of Earth upload their consciousnesses onto a drive, of sorts, then the will be able to Ascend. They test this theory with The Phalanx and sure enough, it worked! The question remains though, will The Phalanx find it acceptable? Sure, they were able to merge, but now it is a question of whether or not The Phalanx will reject this form of integration.
So What Comes Next?
The next issue in this X-Saga is HOUSE OF X #5. That issue will most likely pick up where we left off in HoX #4 when, ya know, ALL THE X-MEN DIED!! So, that’s exciting. However, I think we should look at what we can expect in the future based on what we have learned in PoX #4. Throughout the sections of this article we discussed how each part of PoX #4 sets up for the future of the story. But for this section, I think we should dive a little deeper.
Let’s take a look at the title of PoX #4 again: Something Sinister. Yes, we got Mr. Sinister, and in spectacular fashion I might add. Although, he did seem to lack that something… sinister. Something which Mr. Sinister did not lack in POWERS OF X #1.
The Future of Mr. Sinister in HoX and PoX
Off panel, in the explainer paragraphs between, we learn that Mr. Sinister ended up with the same mission as in PoX #4. Mr. Sinister was in charge of cataloging mutant genes on a facility on Mars, until the mutants took a step further and asked him to begin creating mutants. Sinister then created four rounds of mutants in his breeding pits. The first three were a huge help to the mutants fight against Nimrod and his Sentinel forces. The fourth wave, however, marked the beginning of Mr. Sinister’s betrayal. He created a batch of mutants that turned on other mutants, and through this act of treachery, Krakoa fell. Mr. Sinister seems the biggest reason the mutants lost to Nimrod, throwing us into the X2: X-Men Year One Hundred future we’ve been reading about.
But, wait a minute, that was in Moira’s NINTH life. We are currently reading about the events of her tenth life throughout these specific time periods. So there you go, Mr. Sinister didn’t betray anybody! At least, not yet. Will Mr. Sinister betray them in Moira’s tenth life as well? Or have Charles, Magneto, and Moira learned from the mistakes of her previous life? If that’s the case, then why did they approach Mr. Sinister in PoX #4? Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to wait and see.
Final Thoughts on PoX #4
“Something Sinister” was absolutely amazing to read. I know, I say that about every HoX/PoX comic around this time in our series, but it’s the honest truth! In PoX #4 we met a Mr. Sinister unlike any we’d seen before and he was awesome! The re-imagining of his character while keeping his ‘90s aesthetic in tact was fantastic to see. Not only did we get an outstanding Sinister, but we also saw the origin of Krakoa along with a glimpse into the history of Apocalypse as well. With those aspects, plus the expansion on The Phalanx storyline, PoX #4 proved a great read. After this issue we stand prepped, primed, and ready to roll on the rest of this epic X-Men story!