Immoral X-Men #1

Issue Date: 
April 2023
Story Title: 
part 4: The Bond Age

Kieron Gillen (writer), Paco Medina (penciler), Walden Wong and Victor Olazaba (inkers), Jay David Ramos (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Jay Bowen (design), Leinil Francis Yu & Sunny Gho (cover artists), Phil Noto, Marc Brooks, Todd Nauck (variant covers), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Laurie Amaro (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The Council of Sinisters rules the world, nipping any resistance in the bud. During a meeting, Hope warns them that, very soon, alien empires will team up against them. They need to prepare and strike first. Mr. Sinister isn’t interested and is frustrated at his loss of influence over the Council. He discusses the problem with a clone, of whom he disposes afterwards. He is trapped in this reality with his Moira engines gone. The Council has used genetic overrides to prevent him from taking over and his ultimate weapon, as well as his override, are all in his stolen lab! He decides the only option is a manual override to restore control over the Council members. At night, he sneaks into Emma Frost’s bedroom but is unable to inject her, as she sleeps in her diamond form and makes Mastermind create the illusion of human flesh. Sinister flees and is hunted by the council. Emma guesses correctly that he fled to the Westchester complex, where she confronts him. All his chimeras are unable to stop her. When Emma is about to kill him, he offers her new and more complex chimeras, which they will need for their space war. Emma decides to give him one more chance, as long as he stays useful.

Full Summary: 

New Essex (formerly New York), 10 years later:
In a high rise, Nick Fury Jr. has gathered some freedom fighters with big rifles. He reminds everyone to keep checking their psi-seals. They know how Thoughtcrime gets punished. Tonight, they are going to storm the Westchester complex and upload the virus. It can bring down the whole Cerebro satellite system. They have the best shot of forging a resistance since Orchis was taken off the board. Let’s got to work!

A young woman stops them and asks if they go through the door or the window. Fury considers and decides he’s pretty sure it’s the window. As if it were the most normal thing in the world, they all take the jump and plummet to their deaths.

On Krakoa, Charles Xavier takes off the Cerebro helmet after committing these murders. Another cell gone. Emma Frost criticizes that he always rushes things. She likes to savor it.

She thinks to herself that Charles is soft. He let them die peacefully while they should have died screaming. Even with Sinister’s gene alteration, he is still such a wimp.

As if to prove her point, Charles sheds a tear. Crying again? she mocks. Not all are as heartless as she, he retorts. To make the dream real, they must perform these acts… but they are still heinous. Angrily, he wonders why they won’t just submit to the dream!

Emma wonders if, after the warning, Sinister will submit. They are his betters. He admitted as much when he subverted them to conquer this world. He is oh so vanilla.

Xavier puts on the helmet again. One way or another, all will submit to the dream, he vows.

Perhaps, Emma muses silently. They rule the world but she fears it isn’t just the flatscans who haven’t realized the truth.

Xavier looks up at a large monument to Magneto. He wishes Erik were still with them, then he adds, so he’d finally realize Charles was right and he was wrong!

Hope contacts them telepathically. She is sitting on a windowsill, while Exodus is drawing religious imagery of her. Is he done moping over his boyfriend? Hope asks rudely. She needs everyone to get together. Xavier can worry about the dream. She worries about people waking them up!

Emma telepathically summons the full Council of Sinisters on the astral plane in a room with a decided bondage flair and studded chairs. All the members now wear the red diamond.

Kate Pryde complains that, whenever Emma does the psychic projection, the chairs are uncomfortable. Emma explains that it is not just fetish aesthetics but practical: it keeps the meetings short. They all have better things to do. She cedes the floor to Hope, then is taken aback that Hope’s right hand is cybernetic. Hope explains she wanted this: it has a gun in its pinky and the thumb is a grenade. Someone has to be Cable and, if her dad is going buggy, it’s going to be her. Hovering protectively over her, Exodus announces he has saved the hand. It is precious.

Mr. Sinister muses aloud that Hope doesn’t really clone well, though perhaps with a larger sample he could-- It is precious! Exodus screams.

Emma thinks to herself that Hope’s novelty grates. Like Jean. She doesn’t like exclusive clubs she is not a member of.

Hope grins indulgently. Isn’t he protective? Ok, this is how she sees it: They rule Earth. They are growing more powerful. The entire galaxy knows it. There is an increasing number of alien spies. She believes there will be interstellar war with Earth in the next 30 years. If they survive this, two or more interstellar powers will unite against Earth. She doesn’t believe Earth will survive. Unless they get bigger guns.

The Council finishes its session with much to consider, but Emma believes Sinister doesn’t take the threat seriously enough.

Sometime later Sinister drinks a cup of tea at Union Square. He is disgusted by its quality or lack thereof. He grumbles that they call this his utopia and they still can’t make proper tea. Yet more evidence of how this has gone badly wrong… and if he’s trapped here, something must be done. Starting with a proper tea.

He teleports into the Westchester complex, where a naked new clone of him, as well as all the makings of a proper high tea, are waiting. The confused clone greets him and wonders where and who he is.

Mr. Sinister sits down opposite him. He is in his second-best lab and he is his duck. “Talk to the duck,” he explains as he pours the tea. You chat through a problem with an inanimate object and, by saying it all out loud, you realize you know the solution. But he would never talk to a duck. Untrustworthy animal, famously so. Sinister ducks? Even he wouldn’t go so far. He will talk to a clone. He is Mr. Sinister and, even in this hellworld, he must stay true to himself and hold on to what’s truly important. Like tea.

“Ducky” balances a sandwich and a piece of cake and asks what’s up. Slamming his fist on the table, Sinister shouts, his most secret lab has been stolen! He needs his Moiras back! This timeline has gone so wrong that he’s surprised they are not all speaking French! He needs to reset it! The Council is talking back to him! To HIM! He’s tried the obvious techniques, and nothing! He needs the resources that ruling the world allow him, but the problem is he isn’t ruling the world anymore. He shares it with eleven cocktails of him. He tries it and chances are they spot him and realize the Moira engines exist and then they’ll all want it.

Munching on a sandwich, Ducky asks what options he has. He still has the ultimate censure, Sinister muses. He could trigger the psychic inferno as a failsafe. He’d kill all his Sinisters… but perhaps it’s worth it? Ducky considers it a good option, but isn’t he worried about it being activated without him knowing? Of course, he is! Sinister huffs. They’ve meddled with his top-level control imprints. That’s why he kept its activation circuits in the safest place he had – his secret lab! he shouts and hits the table impotently. Isn’t there a saying about eggs and baskets? Ducky remarks unhelpfully, then adds he is a duck. Eggs are his thing. So what can he do?

It was the best basket ever constructed! Sinister mutters, the secretest of labs. Never mind. He focuses on his options: He’ll try to reinstate control. Gene update. The override will be Beast’s doing, and there is not a day that he cannot beat Beast! It would be best to confer with Dark Beast on his perspective…

But his head is in the secret lab? Ducky guesses correctly. Yes, he admits. So manual reinsertion of the protocols. It is a big risk, but if not… He sighs and drinks his tea, then thanks him for listening and presses a button.

Ducky asks, what’s next. Does he get some clothes or-- No! he screams in horror, as he begins to melt. Sinister gets up. He said he needs someone he can trust. He can’t trust himself… that’s the whole problem!

Nighttime, and Emma Frost lies in her bed.

She hopes Sinister will come around. She believes he still has much to contribute. He helped create Krakoa, but she believes his best work came later, the chimeras and releasing the council from their conscience.

As she slumbers, Sinister enters through the roof and tries to use a syringe, only to find that it shatters against her skin. Emma smirks, revealing she has been sleeping in diamond form for a long time. She presses a button, revealing a sliding panel, behind which Mastermind hangs chained. She has him up all night on a cocktail of amphetamines, making sure no one realizes she is invulnerable. Did he do well, mistress? Mastermind drools.

He never does well, she replies cruelly, he is a sneak as well. Sinister disappears through an emergency portal and Emma notifies the rest of the Council they have a hunt.

The Council members split up heading to likely places for him to show up.

Emma takes the Westchester Complex, though no one believes he would be dumb enough to go there. Turns out he is just that dumb, and Emma who got a surface scan when he disappeared knew it.

No back-up? he asks and calls her arrogant. He did prepare for this day. He fires a weapon that combines Banshee’s gift with Cypher’s, reading the vibrational frequency of diamond and finding the right frequency to shatter it. It shatters her left arm. Unimpressed, she puts a Wolverine patch onto her shoulder. She reminds him that he gave them so much wonderful technology. He disarmed her once a long time ago, and it was a problem. Now, with a Logan patch? She turns organic again and her arm literally regrows.

She reminds him that he has nothing that is his own. And what he does have he has to share to keep relevant.

Sinister boasts he has a few tricks he kept behind. And “do it for the children”? He scoffs, always remember some children are nasty boys. On cue, several chimeras, all of which are half Scott Summers, enter.

Emma refuses to feel threatened. She is Emma Frost. There has never been a Scott she couldn’t make do what she wanted. She telepathically turns the chimeras against each other. Emma uses her chain as well and brings Sinister to his knees with a chain around his throat.

Sinister warns they will all be turning against each other. This is just the beginning.

She replies that he is saying the quiet part out loud: he made them Sinister. He didn’t make them stupid. They are the Council but, in the long run, there can be only one queen. Sadly, his usefulness is at an end.

Sinister struggles to reach out and press a button. She wants to win a war? he asks. This will win her a war. A holofile of a new chimera type appears. Sinister chokes that with his next chimera generation he can take it to five gifts in one body. Reliably. It will take him time, but he can craft genetic weapons that no one has ever seen before. They are planning on fighting the galaxy - this is what they need! Or for all their might, they will be a smear beneath the heel of the Kree/Skrull Empire! He has all the plans and recipes, he chokes. No one else. Him! Without him there would be no Krakoa. Krakoa still needs him!

Emma halts. He does make a convincing case and she should bring it to the Council… but first, she wants something. She pulls the chain. Beg, she orders. He groans in pain: Mistress. Mother Queen. Any or all of the above!

Good boy, Emma purrs and relaxes her hold on the chain. She calls the Council and informs them that she has caught him and he has made a proposition. Do they forgive his indiscretion in view of his past, present and future service to them being the best? The Council agrees.

Welcome back, Emma tells him. Know your place. He is one of them, more than ever, and they are one of him. Krakoa needs him. Long may that state continue.

For his sake, he mutters. She tells him to show some class. She told him already: Don’t say the quiet part out loud!

Emma thinks to herself that “we” rule the world, but the standard use of the pronoun will go out of fashion soon enough, leaving the royal “we…”

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers, Kate Pryde, Magik, Namor, Professor X,
Sebastian Shaw (Council of Sinisters)
Mr. Sinister


Nick Fury Jr.
Resistance fighters

Story Notes: 

The story follows Nightcrawlers #1. The next part is Nightcrawlers #2

The title replaces Immortal X-Men for three months.

The point of view character is (Sinister) Emma Frost.

Apart from “talking to the duck,” Sinister Ducks are also a shout-out to the eponymous band founded by comic icon Alan Moore and their song “March of the Sinister Ducks.”

Cable going buggy refers to when Cable merged with the Arakkii mutant Xilo and is now called X-Man (in Storm and the Brotherhood).

Emma sleeping in diamond form was established in Immortal X-Men #4.

Mr. Sinister “disarmed” Emma before in Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #1.

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