Marvel's "Dawn of X" Relaunch of the X-Men is now into its second half, and Powers of X #4 arrives with a totally unexpected chapter of the story to tell. That chapter involves an almost comedic journey to the lair of Mr. Sinister, who finally makes his debut appearance in "Dawn of X," despite his presence being heavily felt in the story.
WARNING: Powers of X #4 SPOILERS Follow!
The bulk of Powers of X #4 takes place at "Bar Sinister," Mr. Sinister's Island kingdom. In the years before the X-Men were formed, we learn, Sinister was approached and struck and unlikely alliance... with none other than Charles Xavier and Magneto.
Yes, in writer Jonathan Hickman's re-invention and remix of X-Men lore, Xavier and Magneto have been working with Mr. Sinister the entire time that the X-Men have been in operation!
The reasoning behind this alliance is not explained, but is nonetheless clear once certain clues are put together. Xavier and Magneto were both "radicalized" by seeing the revelations of Moira X's nine lives - including the 9th life timeline, in which Moira sided with Apocalypse and fought and dark future war against the Man-Machine Supremacy. In that future, Mr. Sinister was responsible for cataloging mutant DNA and using it to breed several generations of his own mutant creations. The result were powerful "Chimera Mutants" like Rasputin, who come with multiple X-Genes and powers.
While we never met the Sinister of Moira's 9th life, in Moira's 10th life (the House of X timeline) Sinister is still active, and Charles Xavier and Magneto know all too well what his genetic experiments can lead to. So, they have a simple task for their evil ally:
"...What we're suggesting is a slight deviation of focus. Continue with your broad indexing, if you want... but we need you to prioritize making a comprehensive database of all mutant DNA. Safe. Secure. Redundant. We can provide you with samples you might have trouble getting on your own, including ours."
Sinister is at first reluctant to join the partnership - but he's subsequently murdered by his own clone who carries the X-Gene. Mutant Sinister is all too happy to join the crusade, and gets this instruction from Xavier:
"First, you need to begin the good work... And then, I need you to forget why you're doing it and that we were ever here... until the day I tell you to remember."
What the purpose of this secret partnership is, we still don't know (but have some good guesses). However, it's clearly crucial to the story of "Dawn of X" - especially since the previous chapters detailed the horrific deaths of some major X-Men characters. Does Mr. Sinister hold the key to bringing them back? We'll soon see.
House of X 1 - 4 and Powers of X 1 - 4 are all now on sale.