Immoral X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
June 2023
Story Title: 
part 8: Our nine-hundred-years-and-counting mission

Kieron Gillen (writer), Alessandro Vitti ( (artist), Rain beredo (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles, (letterer), Jay Bowen (design),Leinil Francis Yu & Jesus Arbutov (cover artists Sslvador Larocca & matt Milla, (variant cover), 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: 

Nine hundred years later, the universe has become a place of horrors and Mr. Sinister and Rasputin IV are barely any closer to finding his missing lab. Rasputin finds a trace of a message on one of the Exodus Prayerworlds. After starting a religious war to escape, and a longer odyssey after, they finally find a message from Destiny, which tells Sinister how she kept this timeline going to keep her wife, Mystique, alive as long as possible. With her dead, Destiny has tried to destroy the timeline to start again. If he finds this message, it hasn’t worked. She gives him hints on how to find the Moira lab and again implores him they need to work together. As a parting shot, she reveals she knows that his plan is to become a Dominion, and it will not work. Rasputin eavesdrops and realizes with horror that her creator is not a good man. She confronts him and he tricks her, leaving her to die in space. He then flies toward the solar system, where per Destiny’s coordinates he finds Moira X and a broken Doombot. With Moira’s help, they make their way to the Storm Systems, unaware that the Doombot transfers all information to Beast, who informs his mistress Emma Frost, Empress of the Red Diamond, about this. Seeing the danger, Emma’s forces give chase. Sinister’s ship is shot down at the Storm Systems by Jon Ironfire’s forces. Sinister suggests he and Ironfire save the universe together. In the meantime, the still-alive Rasputin is visited by Mother Righteous, who asks her if she wants revenge on Sinister…

Full Summary: 

“If that is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?”
- Candide

1000 years later:
It’s been nine hundred years since Mr. Sinister and Rasputin IV stole the Marauder on what was supposed to be a five-year-mission at most to find the Moira lab.

Rasputin fears her creator is close to breaking. They have chased leads for lifetimes and are no closer. The latest lead takes them to open of the Exodus Prayerworlds nr.537-2389. The clue is in one of the minds of the Prayerworld. A long-forgotten psalm they must decoded.

Hidden by her telepathy, Rasputin enters a crowd with people trapped on each side. She walks toward the Exodus clone, who is sleeping on his throne.

Sinister contacts her and warns they cannot stay for long. If any Exodus realizes he is still alive, it will be bad for everybody. And especially him.

Rasputin doesn’t blame him for his fear. The universe has become a horror. The war was powered by atrocities and the Prayerworlds are a common one. She wonders where the captive clones come from: grown for this purpose? Prisoners of war? It doesn’t matter. Every one of them has their brain trapped in an infinite loop, canting jubilations to the Exodus. Endless screams of rapture echo across this continent. She searches for the one whose prayer holds a secret. She rifles through minds, trying to steal from under the eyes of a sleeping god, a steroidal giant transformed by mutant faith.

She searches and finds it. Automatically, she says a prayer of thanks, which makes Exodus awake. Who trespasses? he demands.

Rasputin IV teleports out to the Marauder and orders Mr. Sinister to go, but it is too late. The Exodus chases them.

Sinister’s only option is to contact another Prayerworld, 534-2386, giving their location and announcing that this Prayerworld‘s Exodus has been launched.

The Exodus captures them with a fiery, telekinetic fist and demands why they disturb his contemplation. The Exodus from the other Prayerworld launches himself at him, as he has broken the ceasefire. They both accuse each other of heresy. Forgotten, the Marauder uses this chance to flee. The whole solar system is scoured. War will ignite between these Exodus sects and spread. The body count will be unimaginable. Rasputin would be horrified but she is hardened to it. It was already unimaginable hundreds of years ago. They are in a universe where planets made of corpses orbit dead stars. The only hope is absolute transformation. Sinister’s promised Krakoa of peace and plenty, of beaches and soft sand. The only hope is that they succeed.

Once they are clear, Sinister asks Rasputin if she has decoded the message. What does it say? Rasputin replies that it’s some space-time locations and a phrase. It’s written in classical English: “We should be on the same side.”

The journey is hard, the biggest detour is around the Limbic Incursion’s tear across the galaxy, Magik’s wound in space-time to try and bring Limbo to reality.

The materialist Colossus Citadels watch the borders with cold eyes but miss them. Then, the Marauder is forced to fly through a war-torn area between the Dream and the Red Diamond Empire.

She is close enough to sense the thoughts of the Protectorate’s soldiers, their minds in paradise while their bodies are being ravaged.

She vows to save them too.

Later, they are stalked by one of the Pryde’s Packs, chasing them through asteroids, phasing through their few remaining proton torpedoes. Sinister tells her Pryde was once the kindest of the council, which she finds hard to believe, but she supposes all things are relative.

Eventually, they reach the coordinates and find an ancient shuttle.

Rasputin figures that would have had to leave Earth earlier than they did. Sinister tells her to retrieve it. She doesn’t bother to suit up, as she heads outside. A little trip like this is hardly worth it. Inside the shuttle, she finds what looks like a cylinder.

She hands it to Sinister and asks what it is. An old technology, he muses. He used to use it… before. Before everything. Before he was even him. She’s showing off, he mutters, then wonders what she is doing.

Rasputin notices he is unsettled. He agrees. This is a message from an old friend. He wants to hear it alone. He’ll be in his quarters. Don’t disturb him.

He needs to assemble a suitable old-style phonograph before he can listen. How like Irene. As in annoying.

The machine assembled he listens to Destiny greeting him. Politely he greets back. Destiny informs him she stole his lab with Storm, Stellaris and the Arakkii. If he is listening to this, they will have hidden it again, when she tried to reset the universe. This will be because Mystique is dead. And if Raven is dead… She sobs, she hates herself… Raven would hate her for this.

She tells him if he gets back his Moiras and gets back to the past, come to her. She will join him. She continues that she fought him and she knows it is impossible for him to trust anyone… but he must try now! She is trying to find a way to save Mystique. She sees the future and she sees only death for her. It is horrible! To see the woman you love torn asunder so many times! She knows he can’t understand!

Correct, Sinister comments.

Outside the room, Rasputin eavesdrops with bated breath and growing horror, as the recording continues that this nightmare dimension was the longest path of her lives, so Irene followed it. Raven beat the odds so many times, and Irene was hopeful. Now the world is truly a hell, without her in it. Now, if she is gone, they must try again, and perhaps at his side Irene can discern another route. She wanted them to be on the same side for many reasons… she still dares not say all loud. But to save Mystique she would join him, as he and his Moiras are the only way to her. She implores him not to doubt her. When he became the monster he is, he cut love from his heart… but remember the power of grief that led him to do it in the first place.

She instructs him to dissolve the cylinder. Inside, he will find instructions that will let him find his Moiras.

Sinister politely thanks her, making it clear he will probably reject her offer, but the message isn’t quite over yet. Irene spells out, she knows his ultimate goal is to transcend time and space to become a Dominion. He will not succeed. She knows he thinks she is trying to trick him, but this is his only hope. Give up!

Rasputin enters the room. He is not trying to save the universe, is he? she demands. He’s afraid not. She manifests her soulsword and warns he is not going to live. That would be fair, he agrees and manifests two blasters. Look at this universe: Does it seem fair to her?

Unimpressed, she blocks the blasts of his anti-phase phaser and warns him that with his best tech he can’t beat her in a fight. He agrees he gave her all her gifts, even free will. He lures her into an airlock, then presses a button. She is spaced. But he didn’t give her the power of flight, he adds.

A shame, he mutters. She was his finest work. Maybe when he gets home, he’ll cook up another. But first they have Irene’s dance steps to follow…

Reaching Earth’s solar system, he finds a clone of Kenji Uedo, an uncontrollably growing mass, about to digest Jupiter and Saturn. He decides this is a fitting place for a hiding place. He walks towards a cave from which a voice laments “Doom, only Doom.” He finds a malfunctioning Doombot. In a rare display of regret, he tells him he is truly sorry. He has changed, a voice from the darkness announces. He agrees. A little. Did a few tweaks. Pop culture references don’t really work when there hasn’t been pop culture for nearly a millennium. He mocks her for hiding and clinging on to life, even when everything has gone to &%*$.

What if he said he had a way back to a life she could love, not merely endure? he asks. She’d say she would follow him to the edge of the universe, Moira X replies. That’s lucky, he replies. That’s where they are going.

In the court of the Red Diamond Queen, Emma, now in a red diamond form, is holding court, Beast and her Cuckoos in attendance. Three of her knight consorts (all Namors) kneel before her. She announces, whoever kisses the hand of the living Gem of Cyttorak shall become an unstoppable Juggernaut. As a Namor clone kisses her hand, she orders him to protect her children. Destroy those who are not.

She turns to Beast and asks where is the latest Xavier star. How can they have lost a moon-sized blob of gray matter? She wishes to thrust a stiletto heel through that heaving mass of hypocrisy.

Beginning with some praises McCoy explains he compromised several AI systems in the past and left them out there, looking for certain missing troublesome beings. And the missing Doombot has found one. Nathaniel is not dead.

Annoyed, Emma asks how their creator is keeping himself busy in his dotage. McCoy informs her that he recruited the mechanical revenant of Moira MacTaggert. He needed her psychic imprint to locate something. Moira clones.

Emma realizes he will be able to destroy all of reality when she has nearly won! She will lead her school personally. Her students go to war! Prepare her largest legions and highest heels! Their foes must be crushed! They must save their galaxy for the children!

In the meantime, Sinister, Moira and the Doombot are flying to their destination. Only Doom, the Doombot keeps on muttering. You’d think he was happy cursed Richards was finally dead, Sinister opines. It turns out getting what you want doesn’t make you happy, Moira states grimly and then bitches about Sinister cloning her.

They reach the World Farm, or what it has turned into in the last nine hundred years. Their ship is shot at and crashes but they survive, much to the pleasure of the aged Jon Ironfire, looking very much like a space Viking. He announces it is harder to interrogate a corpse. They have a choice. Tell him everything they know about the Red Diamond armada behind them and they get a cell. Otherwise, they get to face his friend here. He refers to the monstrous ogre at his side.

Ironfire scoffs when he sees their faces. Has Earth run out of quality scouts? A straight Sinister clone and a couple of robots? Storm’s old attack dog Jon Ironfire, now with an actual attack dog, fantastic! Sinister mutters, then addresses Ironfire to tell him that Frost has picked up their trace somehow. He is not with her. And he is the original Sinister. If they’ve been followed, it’s even worse. The castle can’t fall into her hands!

Ironfire states that even the Red Diamond has to break against them. They’ve taken everything the universe has thrown against them the last nine hundred years. They’ll find a way to take her. The goddess said that, if the citadel falls, the universe falls with it. Sinister agrees, but he has a little additional information Ironfire may be interested in. Together they can save the universe!

Rasputin IV still floats in space, her power keeping her alive a little longer, but she wonders for what. It was all a lie! An amused, telepathic voice addresses her: She seems to have got herself into a pickle. Rasputin demands who they are but the voice retorts she asks the questions in this game. Rasputin has been played dirty, the man who did her dirty is running free and all haughty. She should ask Rasputin what she regrets most, but it is written on her face. She regrets trusting him. Does she want revenge? More than anything! Rasputin replies. Then the real question is, does she want to make a deal?

Characters Involved: 

Mr. Sinister
Rasputin IV
Jon Ironfire
Moira X

Beast, Emma Frost
Cuckoo clones, Namor clones
Exodus clones

In recording:

Story Notes: 
  • The Fate of the Quiet Council members in the third millennium:
  • Professor X: leads the Protectorate of the Dream
  • Nightcrawler: Dead. His genes live on in the apostate cult the Legion of the Night. [Nightcrawler #1-3]
  • Colossus: bulwark of materialism. All superpowers to the Space Soviets.
  • Sinister: disappeared nine hundred years ago with the experimental Marauder. Wanted, if mostly forgotten, criminal.
  • Emma Frost: Empress of the Red Diamond
  • Kate Pryde: Hellfire exile. Pirate Queen of the void.
  • Exodus: the gene-reformation led to the division of the one true Exodus church into thousands of heretical sub-sects.
  • Hope: dissected into still living reliquaries and distributed among the Exodus sects
  • Namor: Imperator of the drowned worlds. Sire of the Knight Consorts
  • Beast: gene-chained court scientist of the Red Diamond
  • Magik: retreated to the Limbic Incursion after losing the Seventh Diamond War
  • Sebastian Shaw: ruling majority in the screaming council of hell.
  • The total mutant population of the galaxy is unimaginable. Mutants are undisputed rulers of the galaxy. Yet somehow hate and fear remain.

Further notes:

This is part 8 of Sins of Sinister. The previous chapter was Storm and the Brotherhood #2. The next chapter is Storm and the Brotherhood #3

Mystique and Destiny died in Storm and the Brotherhood #2.

Sinister cutting away love out of grief refers to the loss of his family as told in The Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix.

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